Thanks for the Garbage: A Graphic Designers Standpoint To Printed and Digital Junk Mail

Another junk mail letter from any number of creditors with a pre approved credit card inside. Emails from sites you visited once, that are nearly impossible to unsubscribe because the amount of steps you have to jump through.  

We have all gotten junk mail, both actual mail and email. I don't have to say how annoying it is when your trash can is full with nothing but junk mail or getting another email from eBay reminding you that they are eBay, even though you swear you have unsubscribed from them 10 times before. Americans receive around 90 billion pieces of junk mail every year. In addition, Spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. That is about 45% of the emails of all emails everyday. So while you are waiting for that important email about whether or not you got the job, you are much more likely to get useless garbage first. 

But what I think is possibly overlooked with both junk mail and email, is the fact that graphic designers have to create it. All of it. Not a small number of designers but a lot of them. Don't get me wrong, I am guilty as well. I have created many emails and mailers that were discarded before anyone even thought about reading them. But if I can help it, I make memorable professional designs. 

Creating “shotgun blast mailers and emails is disheartening to say the least. First off it is a waste of your professional time and talents. You could design something that actually matters by taking a little time with the concept, but instead you are forced to shotgun blast unsuspecting email subscribers and mailing listers with boring, pointless information. Secondly is an ethical issue. At one point you realize the work you are creating is actually making people mad and is not advancing or helping the human race in anyway. Further more, things like postcards, brochures, and other mailers account for 100 million trees being cut down every year. 

Luckily there are a few ways to help stop this mind and soul numbing mail from reaching you. Here is a link that gives some helpful advice on keeping unwanted emails away from your inbox. Some tips include creating a separate email to for all of those unavoidable subscriptions and tips on filtering. To help you get rid of that junk mail in your mailbox, I found catalogChoice.org a site that will help you streamline the opt-out process of junk mail so you don't have to contact companies yourself. It's totally free.

Junk mail isn't going anywhere for a while, but at least you can give it a big middle finger. Until the next great piece of technology is invented, then it starts all over again.