Food for Thought Part 1 – EU Regulations

Concept: Food regulations across the European Countries ensuring high standards and meeting customer expectations in supermarkets prompted an investigation into the underlying mechanisms and regulations set out by the EU. Apples were chosen as symbol for a healthy diet and to be representative of many more regulations affecting particularly fresh foods. Research revealed particularly interesting insights into the EU’s food classification system ranging from size, composition to the mere visual appearance. A complex network of farmers, logistics and supermarkets are held-up to to adhere to these standards, creating conflict particularly between the producers and the logistics. Farmers struggle to keep up with the production regulations i.e. the date of harvests being dictated while ensuring their apples do meet size and visual standards. In recent years consumer awareness has led to a rise of the consumption of “nonstandard” foods such as the straight bananas. We might eventually see a more holistic change in the both the acceptance of non-conforming food appearance and importantly these to appear in the standard supermarket too.

Outcome: This research was distilled into a fictional dialogue between the EU, its’ marketing standards regarding the visual appearance of apples, logistics as an interim key player and the farmers. Each party is represented accordingly visually. The EU regulations were communicated by using bureaucratic aesthetics (forms) splitting the marketing standards over 10 pages. Logistics are visualised using the same EU form fields, albeit empty, to represent the adherence to this framework. They were  screenprinted on carbon paper. Lastly, the farmers are given a voice as the last player in the chain through a stencil font written as a carbon paper copy. The design therefor connects all three of them.

The ISTD committee awarded me with a pass for excellent typographic skills and concept.