Tuesday, 8:25am
4 September 2012

Newsprint appetiser

Current food trends meet photography and art direction in Ico’s giveaway foodie mag

Last month, London agency Ico Design published the first edition of Taste, a newsprint publication that expressed the consultancy’s growing interest in the future of food, writes Sarah Snaith.

The 16-page A3 newspaper includes short features written by in-house staff and contributors from the agency’s network of contacts in the food industry, including Polpo restaurant’s executive chef Tom Oldroyd. The writing skims the surface of debates around food in design, with insightful short pieces written on food labelling and food branding by Vivek Bhatia and Russell Holmes, design partner and partner in Ico.

The spread features Vivek Bhatia’s rendition of a baked beans can wrapped in a government warning label.


Bhatia predicts that food labelling goes by way of cigarette packaging, ‘Given the increasing media pressure and government attention between health and food, how long before we see every day foodstuffs labelled with the same vigour?’

Key phrases throughout the text are highlighted in pink, functioning like pull quotes. The effect gives the impression that a friend has read the paper ahead of you and marked the sections you’ll like best. Photography by Nick Thompson.


The engaging photography of Nik Strangelove and Nick Thompson demonstrates the agency’s awareness of food trends that favour raw ingredients and a home-made aesthetic. Taste’s design has clean lines and prominent typography, and showcases notable recent branding successes such as frozen yogurt company Snog and Karaway Bakery (in Westfield’s Stratford City).

The visual approach for ‘The Perfect Loaf’ reflects current food photography trends.


While the publication touches on the subject of ethically reared livestock in ‘Death of the Foodie’ by Philip Dundas, it doesn’t attempt to engage with critical food issues such as food waste and food safety in every feature. Instead, Ico’s initiative aligns the agency with current trends that merge food with graphic design. As an enticing piece of promotional material, Taste is thoughtful and well presented.


Taste can be read online or ordered free of charge on Ico Design’s website and it is also available for Kindle and iPhone.


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. Eye 83 is out now, and you can browse a visual sampler at Eye before You Buy.