I Heart the Forest…

...the trees, the air, the adventure. Whether I'm riding, exploring, or simply breathing in the fresh air, I always feel alive in the forest – continually inspired.

What I Do

Good design – thoughtful and informed.

I'm a professional graphic designer with a background in communications and a foreground in sustainability. Seeing the big picture helps produce work that is honest, clear and effective.

I collaborate with clients to enhance their capacities and communicate complex ideas in simple ways. This ensures the quality of the outcome is something to be proud of.

I work with intention and deep commitment to engagement and results. I facilitate, advise, plan and design.

Why I Do It

Graphic design is a potent tool of communication. It should inspire and enhance quality of life, not just be used as a means for encouraging more consumption.

I want my work to matter. I want to love my job. So, I use my design talents to endorse social, environmental and educational initiatives.

Encouraged by the likes of the First Things First Manifesto and Do Good Design, I strive to be aware of how I work, for whom I work, and how my work affects others.

The Forest is committed to ethical business practices and being socially and environmentally responsible.

Clients Say the Darndest Things

Steven has a unique talent to take complex ideas and find the simple threads that resonate with people.

— Esther Speck, former Sustainability Director, Mountain Equipment Co-op

Jason: Guys, this is AWESOME. Love it. Why doesn't all our stuff look this slick? Who was the designer?
Katie: Our very own Steven Cretney! He rocks.
Cherise: My life has changed since Steven arrived.

— Pembina Institute

Supe. Supah-doop. Supah-doopah-doopah-doop.

— Jocelyn Carver, Marketing and Outreach Manager, Kootenay Co-op

Facing the Future

I’m a graphic designer passionate about sustainability. The complex and pressing nature of the sustainability challenge requires meaningful engagement, collaboration and innovation. Many of the frameworks and technologies have already been developed and proven – it is the lack of widespread understanding and action that is stalling substantial progress.

My role as a professional communicator is to help connect and align ideas that engage audiences and integrate positive change. I collaborate with clients to increase the impact of their good work, with good design.

Giving back is important too. I volunteer, coordinate and donate to environmental and social organizations and causes. I am a 1% for the Planet Member, donating at least 1% of my annual revenues to environmental organizations. I have signed onto The Designers Accord, a global community that shares methodologies, resources, and experiences around environmental and social issues in design.

Keenly aware that everything I design has environmental impact, I strive to meet all client needs while keeping negative impacts to a minimum. Resources I draw from include: Re-nourish, The Living Principles, The Natural Step and the Pembina Insitute.

My Professional Journey

With fifteen years of graphic design experience, I am well-versed in all aspects of design and have achieved CGD™ certification from the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.

I currently split my work hours between The Forest and providing communications and design support to the Pembina Insitute, a clean energy think tank. Prior to opening The Forest in 2008, I worked within a variety of in-house communications and marketing teams and with countless clients as a freelance and volunteer designer. Although recognized with design awards, I value the authentic relationships and collaborations with clients much more.

I hold an M.Sc from Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden) in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability. My thesis lead to my co-authoring a guidebook, The Weave, for sustainability practitioners deepening stakeholder engagment in strategic planning. My undergrad degree was in Communication Studies and I have a diploma in Audiovisual Communications. I am also trained in the Art of Hosting conversations that matter, public speaking and small business development.

I am often found in leadership roles; project managing, facilitating and mentoring.