I caught a cold and could not attend last week’s tutorial. I shared two weeks of progress this week.
What I did this week:
・Gathered two types of references – same position / opposite position ・Researched etymology of pig and pork ・Iterating package design as studio work – translation/investigation
Reference01 – Same position:
The first thing I looked for was references that used illustrations of animals to encourage us to think about animal rights in a positive way. Emma Erickson’s illustrations of anthropomorphic animals give us a fun impression of the vivid colours. She was originally a scientist. She says that the purpose of her illustrations is to convey our everyday behaviours and interactions in an interesting way. She also felt she was unique in that she didn’t use her mouth to manipulate facial expressions to convey joy, anger, or sadness.
On the other hand, Kate Louise Powell’s illustrations contain poignant expressions. She is a vegan and an animal rights activist. When she posted her illustrations on social networks, she realised that illustrations have more strong power as information than using only words. So, she decided to use them as a communication tool to tell animal rights.
Another interesting reference that I wanted to share is the packaging design for vegan bacon. They completely re-constructed the existing meat package through colourful, sophisticated and eye-catching graphic design. Compared to the first reference, it is the fact that using vivid colours for packages can convey a positive impression to communicate about animal rights. The other unique thing on the package is that the anthropomorphic pig is eating the vegan bacon. It gives me the impression that the pig is cannibalising. However, the designer may have intended to emphasise that even pigs can be eaten because they are vegan or express pigs are human’s friends through anthropomorphic illustrations.
I have collected some additional examples of humanistic food illustrations and analysed the purposes for which anthropomorphic ingredients are used daily. Left) Oden-kun: Oden is one of the Japanese traditional meals. It is an animation about their ordinary life. Centre) Sausage Party: A story about sausages running away after learning they are ingredients. Right) Yasaiccho: An animation to help children overcome their dislike of vegetables
Pig or Pork – Etymology
According to eGullet, it all goes back to the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066. When the French took over England, there became two ways of saying a lot of words, and from a gastronomic standpoint, the French won out (as they usually do). This is likely because the lower-class Anglo-Saxons were the hunters (so we get the animal names from them), and the upper-class French only saw these animals on the dinner table (so we get the culinary terms from them). So the Anglo-Saxon pig became the French porc, which was Anglicized to pork; the Anglo-Saxon cow became the French boeuf, which became beef; and sheep became mouton (later mutton). Even chicken got a new culinary name: pullet, which is the Anglicized version of the French poulet and is now only used to refer to a young hen. All of those French terms are still the French words for those animals (as well as their meat) today. As for fish, we most likely still call it fish because the French term for it, Poisson, is too close to the English word poison.
Based on this research, I knew that the elements that evoke the existence of life through package design are influenced by various aspects of design. Therefore, I investigate what kind of impression changes can be made by breaking down various elements (colour, content, typeface, texture) through the current pork meat package design.
Studio work01 – Translation:
What could I learn?
all of the translating designs do not make us feel that meat is life.
The package design that wants to express a sense of luxury for wine and cheese is similar in tone to organic raw meat packages.
If a pork package has the character of an unrelated creature on it, it can be confusing to know what kind of meat we are eating.
Studio work02 – Investigation:
What could I learn?
Regarding the illustrations, expressions that suggest that the pig has emotions reminiscent of death will create negative emotions.
If a picture of a pig shows grass, it gives the impression that animal rights are protected or that the meat is organic.
There’s a sense of déjà vu when I see an illustration of a pig dressed as a chef, so we can see it in many different scenes daily.
Studio work03 – Investigation:
What could I learn?
As a result of the iterations, I felt that it was easier to manipulate people’s emotions through package design by using the order of photos > colours > fonts > words.
This result is also used in current cigarette packaging.
How do I continue to the next step?
I do not change my mind to convey the importance of animals’ lives in a positive way through package design. Therefore, I continue these iterations and explore the design ideas and possibilities.
・In the Translation project, it is possible to see the context by translating a more comprehensive range of package designs than just products sold in supermarkets. ・It may be possible to redefine not only the label design but also the other elements. (Materials, formats, etc.) It’s a good idea to collect elements that can be learned from other products, such as computer packaging or cosmetic packaging. ・By analysing things designed to attract people’s attention, such as billboards and road signs, it may be possible to explore the possibility of packaging with more impact.
In today/s workshop, I created a Type Specimen A4 poster to analyse typography. I chose Monotype Grotesque, designed by Hinman Pierpont in 1926, to learn more about the Sans serif font, which has been trending for over 10 years.
There are four main categories in Sans serif font, which are Grotesque, Neo Grotesque, Geometric and Humanistic. A grotesque font was created at the beginning of the arrival of Sans serif fonts. Therefore, I thought it was appropriate to learn what Sans serif font is.
My first impression of Monotype Grotesque was cool because it includes a hand-made atmosphere created before the digital era. Especially details of curves, for example, lowercase a and r, and uppercase Q and J. Compared to humanistic fonts, which were created recently, this font looks more analogue in the details of typeface design.
Feedback on the first introduction through dialogue :
・Cami advised me to decide on the target audience as specifically as possible. ・My line of enquiry was unclear: I should set the purpose of this project and relations between animal welfare and design role. ・Matthew asked me to think about What I can ‘hyper-focus in something’. ・Matthew advised me to focus on media rather than ethical issues since it is a project as a graphic designer. And I should pursue how the media can contribute to this issue.
What I did this week:
・Created the diagram(iteration) ・Setting the target audience ・Started doing the research
The topic in the previous term was about the possibilities of expressing emotional complexity through typeface design. Since the main feedback was about narrowing the target and topic itself, I decided to focus on complex feelings when people eat meat nowadays. I start the investigation by analysing the current meat package design at a supermarket, which is one of the first touch points when people decide to eat meat. Regarding methods, I continue to use all the methods I have learned from last year.
Lines of enquiry:
Based on the diagram I created, I started thinking about what I could do as a graphic designer for animals. I am currently not vegan/vegetarian and eat meat a few times per week. However, I sometimes think about not eating meat to keep some animal’s life. It sounds better than the current habit. Even so, I still cannot stop eating meat to take protein and enjoy meals. That’s why I decided to explore another way to contribute to this issue as a graphic designer.
I do not want to design the package to appeal to consumers’ conscience in this project. The reason is this approach goes against the passion of farmers who look after their pigs with special care, even if it might be the most effective way to reduce the total consumption of meat. In addition, if the consumers stop purchasing feeling guilty, the meat at a supermarket will only lead to food waste. Therefore, I decided to set the target audience for the CEO of a supermarket in the UK, the company side.
I compared pork meat packages from the five leading supermarkets in the UK. Many supermarkets have two different lines, which are the best values one and the organic one(more expensive than the former). Interestingly, the label design of each supermarket is very similar. They use blue for the best value one and green/black for the organic one. The function of the package label is to tell this information: what meat, what part of the meat, expiration date, from the British, from the trusted farmer, and how to keep it. There is little information to tell about animal rights.
・I should try translating another food package design to a pork package label in order to analyse what elements of a package lead people to positive/negative emotions. ・I should analyse what elements or aspects of the food package make it feel artificial or natural. ・I should consider additional layers for people who choose not to eat pork for religious reasons.