I’m having a makeover. You may have noticed some subtle changes to my website; the logo has changed. I am keeping the little DK man as it represents me with my tripod as brilliantly created by Remember Creative, but he is no longer in the rectangular box and is now is in a circle.
So why this change? It’s certainly not vanity driven, and it’s not because I’ve had nothing else do to during the coronavirus pandemic, although it is related to the pandemic. It’s roots go way back to my first job before I was a photographer when I worked for a company which manufactured analytical instrumentation that measured air pollutants. In those days there was concern about the hole in the ozone layer as well as lead in petrol (yes I’m that old!) Our customers were all scientists doing research into the causes and effects of mans influence on the environment. This was before there even was an environmental industry and I remember vividly a discussion I had with a university professor, who was also an advisor on the environment to the government, who told me that the government of the day had decided that it wanted the UK to have an environmental industry.
As a result of this I have always been environmentally aware and tried to be as eco conscious as I can in both my personal and professional life – quitting that job and becoming a photographer helped as I was doing 50,000 miles a year driving all over Europe!
Fast forward to today and I am acutely aware that the current pandemic is a major environmental disaster happening as I type. During the first lockdown there was a massive surge in the use of disposable gloves as people sought to protect themselves from the virus and subsequently the usage of disposable masks has gone through the roof. Whilst the government has rightly urged the public to protect themselves this hasn’t been coupled with sound policies and advice on the disposal of PPE which is classified as clinical waste, and as such shouldn’t just be thrown in the bin or chucked out the window of the car (okay no waste should be disposed of like that).
To get back to the point (before I start ranting too much!) I have decided that I will be doing as much as I can both as an individual and a business to be environmentally responsible and this includes working with companies with a similar outlook. There is much rhetoric from the government about going green and with the UK hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) I hope that it will be accompanied by sound policies and funding. The cynic in me though believes that once the PR opportunities that the COP26 offers are over and the governments pandemic expenditure needs to be recovered that it may all take a back seat or just remain largely rhetoric.
I also suspect that it will largely be left to business to deliver and the governments announcement that they will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 is indicative of that. Whilst it’s heartening to hear that Waitrose are banning the sale of children’s magazines which have free disposable plastic toys on the front cover, you have to wonder why it took a child to point it out to a group of highly paid executives before any action was taken. Given the amount of plastic packaging still used on fresh food (in all supermarkets not just Waitrose) a cynic may be of the opinion that it is nothing more than good PR.
It is great to see a large number of companies calling on the government to put the environment at the heart of the recovery from the pandemic and I hope that the companies themselves will take a proactive approach in making the changes needed to make this happen.
Whilst I am no evangelist and am far from faultless, I aim to learn, to adapt and to change as far as I can. Part of that will be working with new and existing clients who share the same values as I do and are keen to develop and promote them.
So as a sign of my new, or rather, updated approach I have changed my logo to be round like the shape of the earth and altered the colour slightly to be a more optimistic green colour that more closely aligns itself with the natural world. I have ordered some new business cards made from recycled paper, as well as new post cards (also made from recycled paper) that are used as promotional material but can be used by clients to put in a frame to decorate their workspace or give to somebody else to do the same.
I also have some old logo post cards left over and in the spirit of not wasting perfectly good cards I have some stickers with the new logo on to put over the top of the old logo!
It’s not about a sea change in approach but more like nailing my colours to the mast. Just prior to the first lockdown I was present during a climate change protest and feel I can’t say it any better than these protestors.