When the eco pioneers at Patagonia approached us to design a printed guide to Boulder, we knew we had an opportunity to push the sustainability envelope. The end result is an amusing yet handy pocket guide that’s also the world’s first use of algae offset ink.


Tasked by Patagonia to design a guide to the city of Boulder, Colorado, we bucked typical map conventions and developed a unique format for the piece. The pocket-sized booklet delivers maximum functionality and provides a better experience for the cartophile, utilizing different zoom levels to cater to the various points of interest that range from “across the street” to “an hour drive.”


“World’s First Algae Offset Ink” sure sounds cool but the potential for the technology is substantial (i.e., it’s a big frickin’ deal). Algae-based ink is significant because it replaces the petroleum-based pigments used in conventional offset ink and has a smaller carbon footprint. Knowing Patagonia was willing to venture into unknown territory, we contacted Living Ink, a company that has been developing algae-based pigments since 2013. Our longtime print partner, Boulder-based D&K Printing, was willing to take on the job and associated risks. After a successful test run, 8,000 booklets were printed on one of our favorite 100% PCW recycled papers. Though a seemingly inconsequential achievement on its own, small victories like this push the industry towards a more sustainable future.

tier 1

Project Credits

Design Studio

Cast Iron Design
Boulder, CO

Creative Director

Jonny Black


Jonny Black





French Paper Co. Kraft-Tone (Memo Orange + Brown Box Kraft, 70T)


100% PCW


Process Chlorine Free (PCF), Manufactured carbon neutral (with on-site hydroelectricity)


D&K Printing
Boulder, Colorado

Algae Ink™ (86% biorenewable content)



  • Client
  • Date December 9, 2019
  • Tags Print, Tier 1

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