Horrific global drought and famine by 2050. Mutant viral superbugs decimating our livestock. Crippling obesity with some diabetes thrown in just for fun.
I love making this stuff look good.
Quite often I get presented with a project that poses a difficult design challenge. This time it was for Menus of Change, a conference developed by the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public health. The conference’s initiative is to present solutions to our world’s most pressing food issues. You know, all the stuff you’re ignoring while you fill your brain space with another episode of the Kardashians.
Though some of the subjects will make you think the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse are already here, not everything presented was doom and gloom. It’s one thing to know that we will not be able to feed our population by 2050 the same way we do currently. It’s another thing to communicate how we can bring about change to secure our future.
The subject matter is incredibly sobering. Stay up at night knowing that the drought in California is more horrific than you can imagine. But if we change things now we won’t need to recycle our urine like they did in Dune. The solutions presented by the conference are inspirational. And motivational. And Exciting. Why not develop a brand that conveys just that?
So I created an identity that focused on some of the sustainable solutions to our current world food problems. Presented as vibrant, rich, still life photos, a simple ingredient like a mushroom is transformed into something beautiful and exotic – far more appetizing than a slab of red meat. And if you hadn’t guessed, cows are slowly destroying our overall health one medium-rare bite at a time. The seriousness of our situation is conveyed by setting the images against a dark background, giving the elements the certain gravitas it needed.
The takeaway is that just because something is serious, it doesn’t need to be boring. It can still be beautiful and influential. In this instance, the design subtly communicated that change can be exciting. Think about that this weekend while you grill your oversized antibiotic-laced steak. Next to your excess nitrogen fertilized watered turf grass that’s destroying our wells and aquifers. As you feed your child carbonated diabetes in a can.
Happy Summer Everyone!