More intelligent food labeling

rethink the food label
Image by ursonate via Flickr

I’ve written some previous blog posts about how confusing (and generally useless to the lay person) food labeling is. My musings on the topic are found here and here… now, I’ve just stumbled across a very interesting design competition where the task is — you guessed it — redesigning food labeling.

RETHINK THE FOOD LABEL is a design competition is put on by the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, and I believe is/was an open design competition for anyone who wanted to participate. It is quite interesting to scroll through the various different types of designs and information sets put forward, and if you want to dwell in the ideas for a while, head on over to the advice pages and scan through some of the suggestions. Interesting stuff…

I never did get a chance to submit any thing for this, but if I was going to, I think I would place two features front and center of my label — one would be an adaptation of the “skull and cross bones” icon so well understood, and the other feature would be the Red, Yellow, Green colour-coding we all know so well. So a really, really healthy food might have a bright green, big-smiling skull & crossbones icon with the crossbones replaced with carrots or some other healthy from-the-earth treat. Meanwhile, really, really highly processed, fat & salt food would have the most bad-ass pissed off skull you can imagine glowing bright red. If nothing else, it might scare young kids away from reaching for the crap food.


2 thoughts on “More intelligent food labeling

    1. You’re right — some people just want to be bad, or at least “bad” some of the time… who doesn’t treat themselves to some comfort food from time to time…? However I expect that it would make most people do a double-take and at least think for a second or two whether they really wanted to ingest such a product, which should really be the point of labeling. Which is probably why nobody asks me to create food labels..!! 🙂

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