Disrupting visual perfection

For decades, supermarket customers have been carefully groomed to expect visual perfection in produce. Blemishes are rejected in favour of perfect shapes, strong colours, smooth surfaces – creating a preference for visual perfection over nutrition and taste. Food stored for long periods at very low temperatures, chemically treated to ensure visual appeal, can travel vast distances to reach our plate.

Food Connect in Brisbane have challenged this dominant and established pattern by helping buyers purchase fresh produce from truly local growers.

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A Food Connect delivery van featuring the powerful design by Inkahoots Brisbane
(i-326 [image] (n.d.). Retrieved 29 July 2016 from http://inkahoots.com.au/projects/food-connect/~i-326)

Their brand and marketing design, by Inkahoots in Brisbane, features rough edged food shapes evoking the simple potato stamps we had fun making as children. Included are descriptive words that supermarkets would never use – ‘dirty’, ‘rough’, ‘unruly’ and ‘imperfect’ – exposing the truth that blemishes and imperfect shapes are the reality of how food grows.

Indeed, this back to basics roughness in the imagery suggests ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’, purposely avoiding those words overused, often falsely, by supermarkets.

Inkahoots design cleverly leverages two of Thorpe’s criteria. They simultaneously “reveal or frame a problem” (Thorpe, 2011, p. 6) by revealing the reality of lack of perfection in fresh produce, while “disrupting routine practices, or systems of authority” (Thorpe, 2011, p. 6), by inviting consumers to ignore the empty visual promises of supermarket food in favour of better tasting and nutritious local produce.

The design embraces the reality of food imperfection, and challenges the consumer to change expectation and place an emphasis on seasonality, sustainability and taste.

References:
Welcome to Food Connect. (n.d.). Retrieved 29 July 2016 from https://www.foodconnect.com.au/about-us
Food Connect / Inkahoots projects (n.d.). Retrieved 29 July 2016 from http://inkahoots.com.au/projects/food-connect/~details
Thorpe, A. (2011). Defining design as activism. Retrieved 29 July 2016 from http://designactivism.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Thorpe-definingdesignactivism.pdf

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