Monomo & Co is a sustainability-focused, purpose-led design studio based in the Scottish Borders.



We work with local, national and international organisations that actively seek to benefit the earth and/or society. We help start-up companies enter the market with confidence and style. We build unique brands that engage and inspire. We help charities to be more visible and attract vital sponsorship and funding. We bring clarity to complex corporate communications, enabling companies to evolve into stronger and more coherent businesses. And then we help them to grow.

Whether it’s

branding, identities, book design, magazines, corporate literature, websites or UI digital projects

we love creating ideas that go beyond expectations, break clichés, and stay in the memory. But more importantly, whatever the size or scope of the project, we always design to minimise its impact on the world around us.

So, if you think we might be able to help your organisation transform and prosper through sustainability-focused, purpose-led design, please get in touch.
Monomo & Co have created a beautiful, graceful, elegant and feminine cover which brilliantly reflects the essence of the book and my life story. I could not have wished for a better design for my debut book.
Mary Anne Willow - Author
Monomo produced an exceptional brand for us which is unique, distinctive and clever. It makes our job of promoting and selling our products so much easier. Brilliant job.
Louise Watson - BrightBeans
Extremely creative ideas, a pleasure to work with and always reliable ... we could not be happier with our new identity and branding.
Paul Mackie - Firstdrive
I have worked with Patrick at Monomo for some years now on web based projects and, without exception, they have always created sites which are superb, a pleasure to use and to navigate.
Robin Griffiths - BPM Works
Their commitment to any project ensures not only a great piece of design but a commercially relevant and successful one too.
Brian Williams - Artisan
Sales from our new ecommerse website have increased by 18% largely due to the efforts of Patrick and the team at Monomo.
Leon Fretwell – SlickShifts
Patrick worked sensitively, responsively and effectively with a diverse community group to develop a crisp new town logo to take us into the digital age.
Jackie Couchman – Innerleithen & District Community Council

When it comes to producing effective and successful design, there really is no substitute for experience. Here's just a handful of the many brands and businesses we've had the pleasure of working with over the years.

Creating waste is a design flaw

Sustainability is a problem in the creative industries. Along with a small chorus of design studios worldwide, Monomo & Co is working hard to bring about fundamental change in our industry and in the organisations we work with.

The production of each brochure, flyer, piece of clever packaging, or suite of branding collateral creates pollution. Much of this ends up in landfill – or worse, floating in the oceans. Other environmental impacts are less visible. Websites and apps gobble up fossil fuels used to power the servers needed to run them. It has been estimated that streaming an hour of video per week uses more electricity in a year than two domestic refrigerators.

According to the United Nations, design needs to meet ‘the economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of the planet to provide for the needs of future generations’. In other words we need to do much more than just sticking a green label on existing products – a process called ‘greenwashing’ – it involves fundamental functional and material changes to the way we do things.

Monomo & Co has considerable expertise in creating sustainable design. We advise clients on how to reduce the environmental impact of design projects and make more efficient use (or reuse) of natural resources. We design backwards. By starting at the end of a product’s lifecycle we can rethink how we approach a design brief by thoroughly researching materials, processes and emerging technologies in order to manage each project’s environmental footprint.

The challenges surrounding sustainability in design are multi-faceted and have implications for different industries, communities and demographics that are too complex to delve into here. But, if the values of your organisation go beyond profit and you are interested in a sustainable approach to your communication output, please get in touch.

In the meantime, here are just a few things to consider when developing your next project:
Paper
  • Consider using recycled paper or even tree-free paper such as kenaf, hemp, flax, cotton and combinations thereof
  • Consider 100% PCW uncoated paper
  • Consider Elemental Chlorine Free or Totally Chlorine Free paper
  • If using virgin paper stock, consider one that has FSC or SFI certification
  • Buy paper from a source using sustainable energy in production
  • Don’t bleed to the edgesof the pape. By leaving a white border around your design, you can reduce ink waste and allow for more paper to be recycled
  • Try to reduce the amount of paper and other materials used overall by creating smaller and more efficient pieces
Inks & Finishing
  • Consider vegetable-based inks
  • Use fewer ink colours
  • Consider less ink coverage
  • Request only nontoxic solvents and additives for offset printing
  • Avoid metallic and fluorescent inks when possible as many of these colours have heavy metal additives
  • Consider using aqueous varnishes and coatings instead of UV coatings and laminates
  • Consider alternatives to foil stamping
  • Consider water-based glues
Printing
  • Involve the print vendor in the planning stages
  • Choose a local printer within 100 miles of you (or better still, within 100 miles of where the final printed piece will be distributed).
  • Choose an FSC-certified printer
  • If not FSC certified, check that the printer has an environmental management system in place
  • Consider filmless and plateless digital printing for small runs
  • Create pieces to be as light as possible without sacrificing durability (also known as lightweighting)
  • Send art to printer electronically
  • Clearly outline specs to vendor
  • At project close, recap with client, designer and vendors to learn from successes or failures
Web Design
  • Bloated websites lead to slow load times, frustrated users and wastes energy
  • The easier content is to find, the fewer pages a user has to load, the fewer servers are required to process the data
  • Optimise images correctly
  • Use less video content. Video content take up a lot of bandwidth and uses much more energy
  • Avoid cookies and third party tracking if it all possible. All of this requires extra code and data transfer that increases greenhouse gas emissions
  • Create Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as they are optimized for optimal mobile browsing. Google also prioritizes AMP content in mobile searches.
  • Look for a green cloud provider