International Foodicons Challenge

International Foodicons Challenge

by Douglas Gayeton

The Lexicon, in partnership with Adobe, The Noun Project and AIGA, has launched a global challenge that invites designers to develop a shared, open-source, and royalty-free iconographic language of food to be unveiled at the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

"The purpose of this project is to help create wider understanding among all of the people who participate in various food systems around the world, from those who grow, prepare, and sell food to those who eat it," explained Nathan Shedroff, executive director of the project. "Visual languages can help people communicate more universally, across borders, languages, and backgrounds."

The challenge intends to provide consumers with greater food literacy while making the food system more transparent. In addition, Foodicons will provide food system professionals with an effective way to communicate with colleagues, organizations, and the public.

"When consumers have a deeper understanding of the food they eat, they can better support a food system aligned with their values," noted The Lexicon's Douglas Gayeton. A series of five monthly challenges will focus on agrobiodiversity, climate change, food waste, plants and proteins, the circular economy of food, food equity, true cost accounting and regenerative agriculture.

Using a style guide specifically developed by Adobe for the challenge, designers will be invited to submit icon designs for hundreds of terms selected by the Foodicon's international committee of food experts. The icons will depict everything from basic elements like water, rice, and gluten, to more complex concepts like no-till farming, plant-forward diets, and appropriate technology. Final selections will be publicly released at the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021, then posted permanently on The Noun Project as a free resource for all to use.

The deadline for the registrations for the first round is December 19, 2020.

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