Collaborator: Andrew Gryf Paterson
Visual identity and editorial design for Ferment Lab, a participatory project for food and social fermentation.
Since 2014, Ferment Lab has taken various forms that deal with a broader concept of fermentation. It is as much a space for research on food preparation and experimentation, as a catalyst for social interactions.
Ferment Lab has frequently collaborated with Pixelache, Helsinki, and has been featured in trans-disciplinary events in Austria, France, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, and Poland.
During 2017, Ferment Lab was hosted by Le Shadok, a design, art, and technology center for digital cultures in Strasbourg, France.
After a series of workshops and activities spanning several months, the final outcome was presented at the exhibition Strasbourg: Laboratoire à demain (Laboratory of tomorrow).
Live organisms are able to modify the environment around them, and bacteria can actually make food taste better –they even add improved qualities to it! Inspired by these biological transformations, Ferment Lab brings together human and bacterial culture in order to incite positive social change.
Super Eclectic’s challenge was to embed this philosophy into an all-encompassing design concept.
The logo and visual identity convey Ferment Lab’s standpoint: a human figure and a group of bacteria join forces to spell the letters “FL”. And in the background, little people interact with mesmerizing, friendly-looking microorganisms.
The graphics embrace a hand-made quality that corresponds with the project’s DIY nature and playful spirit.
The information design included posters and labels on fermented cabbage barrels that helped to guide workshops participants and visitors throughout Ferment Lab’s ongoing processes.
The results were presented in a final exhibition at Le Shadok, which was designed following a non-linear narrative.
The objects exhibited were equipped with buttons using ink conductive technology. By simply touching them, visitors could hear audios containing curious and interesting stories about each item.
A large mural drawing depicted a historical diagram of Ferment Lab’s events and activities, but also dreams and ideas related to it.
One of the public’s favorites were the DIY temporary tattoos. Featuring graphics from Ferment Lab’s visual identity, these tattoos quickly populated the bodies of the exhibition guests, just like any other kind of bacteria would do!
Super Eclectic’s approach consisted in creating an equal environment that could motivate a participatory design.
Following this principle, participants of Ferment Lab workshops became active contributors in the creative process, taking pictures and making drawings that were included in the final publication: a 5-volume zine.
Zines have a long history of being an effective way to publish content independently. They are flexible, low-cost, and can be produced in a sustainable way. Since they correspond with Ferment Lab’s commitment with inclusion and open-source knowledge, the final documentation presented at Le Shadok was published in this format.
These zines combine recipes for experimental fermentation techniques with instructions for facilitating Ferment Lab’s workshops. They are a manual for food preparation and social interactions.
The palette was limited to a handful of colors to keep it simple and stylish, with several images in black and white that invite people to color them if they wish so.
In addition to a printed version, digital zines were also made available online to download and reproduce at home.