Josh Rinard

Free Food.

Date: 2018
Location: St.Petersburg, FL
Industry: Food + Promotional

Free Food encourages a whole-food, plant-based diet among individuals who would not consider themselves health conscious. By ways of a meal prep service, recipe guides, and a poster campaign, Free Food diverges from a minimalistic and clean aesthetic flooding the market for humanist, vernacular driven language and aesthetics.

This project was a part of my senior thesis, and encompasses multiple mediums from packaging and print to user interface and experience.

An Open Letter From A Graphic Designer —
Or Some Other Clickbait Inducing Title.

You are not in control of your own health anymore. I am.

Picture this. You're sitting at your cubicle during your allotted thirty-minute lunch break and  you look down at your desk. There is a box of Lean Cuisine and side salad from the local drive-thru looking back at you. You think to yourself, “I’m doing this for me. I don’t like it, and I know I should be eating better.” Regardless, you dig your way though that microwavable meal that promises it’s the lowest of low in calories. Meanwhile the iceberg salad drowns in a concoction that could only be described as a solution of sugar, salt, water, and the hint whisper of Red Dye #7.

Look up. You did it! You made it though another meal without slipping into the temptations of greasy fast food and heavily processed garbage that you keep reading about from that meal prep blog you subscribed to last spring. Remember to pat yourself on the back because you just ate a healthy meal! Maybe you even stayed under the total amount of calories that your BFF Jill suggested. You’re a winner this afternoon!

You’ve been told a lie. Designers have created and tailored those cute little opinions you have. This might come as a shock, but most likely not. Remember, you’re not alone in this. You're smart enough to know that labels are never totally honest. Let me bring you up to speed on a little industry secret: Graphic designers were hired by that “healthy,” “eco-centered,” “fair trade” mega-corporation to sell you the latest and greatest entrée that makes you think and feel healthier than ever before.

Let me explain how this works to you and your ignorant opinions. First, these companies use the most delicious pictures of fresh and ripe ingredients that money can buy, because it needs to look beautiful and sell. However, Free Food uses a humanistic and realistic approach to their designs. By integrating realistic imagery and hand-drawn illustration they capture the essence of an approachable brand. Second, mega-corporations are very selective with the words you see on the box. The consumer needs to think this meal is going to provide an unparalleled amount of nutrients, all with a great fresh taste. Free Food only displays what it contains, in the most simple form. In reality, this quick fix to a healthy meal is nothing more than a Band-Aid to the real issue of the consumers’s health. Individuals will trust anything that is shown to them consistently and has a memorable logo. With the right visual communication, you will fall victim to the mass-market food-supplier time and time again.

Thanks for coming to my Free Food TEDx talk.