A fistful of spaghetti might be a gross thought to many, but to artist Kristen Baumlier, it’s a creative medium. While working in her studio, Baumlier’s interest in exploring food and sustainability led to photographing words and letters out of edibles. “I realized that the process I was doing in my studio had potential to be fun and an interactive way to promote discussion and build community around food,” says Baumlier. Realizing that the tools she was using weren’t accessible to a broad audience, Baumlier decided to create an easier entry point.
Food Font encourages kids and adults to make an alphabet from food. After each letter is created, a photograph is taken and uploaded into the Food Font design tool. Once an entire alphabet is created, it’s uploaded to the Food Font website where it can be used to make posters, signs and images. “I wanted to create support materials and an easy-to-use interactive design tool to support awareness and discussion about food, sustainability, and health,” says Baumlier. To reach this goal, she created a Kickstarter campaign. “It is designed for use by a variety of groups, including friends and family, farmer’s markets, teachers and students in the classroom, community gardens, chefs and restaurants, and people who have a passion for food.”
The food and letter combinations are endless; imagine a leafy “Y” made of arugula, or a salty “X” created from pretzels. Here, messiness is encouraged. Through playing and arranging edibles, kids familiarize themselves with textures, colors and smells, learning how nuanced and rich our food system truly is.
Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.