The design component of my senior thesis, “Indulge,” is a critique on the social, political and cultural issues surrounding food consumption and branding deception within contemporary marketing manifested in physical form. I selected items that aren’t necessarily deemed healthy but inhabit blatantly deceptive packaging, i.e. chocolate with advertised properties such as increased mental alertness or mental clarity, weight loss, glowing skin, or increased sexual arousal. Through this, I reproduced familiar visual signs and arranged them into critical pieces of product packaging with a tinge of irony.
Beyond a critical approach, I’ve made the packaging and branding more digestible, honest, and aesthetically pleasing. Through many design iterations and product choices, I narrowed my selection down to three items that all occupy a similar space in our diets: the vices and indulgences. More specifically, I chose beer, bacon and chocolate—the foods we hate to love.
In addition to designing the packaging, I created each food by hand—taking time to analyze the processes and conditions in which these foods are made. The beer is a homebrewed double IPA, the chocolate was mixed, molded and wrapped in my kitchen, and I shrinkwrapped and repackaged the bacon in the Grove House at Pitzer College.