There’s a certain kind of freshness and energy in the way a design student approaches an identity that they carry into their first “real world” jobs (before the demands of clients beats it out of them—kidding!). The portfolio of recent Art Center College of Design grad Jena Myung still has that exciting new car smell, especially her vibrant work for Food Not Bombs, a collective of individuals who share free food on the streets around the world.
Political movements often organically, and somewhat mysteriously, generate a visual vocabulary all their own (as seen recently with the V for Vendetta masks placed over the faces of Anonymous members). Myung’s identity feels as if it’s also emerged of its own accord from the group it represents. The multiplicity of O’s signify different facets of the collective—they can stand for plates on a table, people waiting in line, or masses of protestors.
“Repeated, they also become a mantra,” says Myung. “They grow and shrink depending on how I need them to live across various applications in the system.”
A rectangular container as the base of the identity was particularly important; it can become a table, a platform, a sign, or any kind of space that reflects the Food Not Bombs process. “Sharing free food is the starting point to talking about food waste, redistribution of resources, non-violent direct action, poverty, and war,” continues Myung. As the movement manifests itself by tackling all these different areas, four logos indicate each of the various actions and relationships of different gatherings of people.
“Food Not Bombs consists of people who have varying degrees of access to resources and money, so I had to think economically and efficiently,” she emphasizes. “The identity is in color, but it can be printed in black and white and realized across a range of production levels. It’s really up to the individual chapters to decide what they need for the space they occupy and the resources that they have.”
As a recent grad with an air of liberation about her, Myung is at the perfect moment in her new career as a designer to create a flexible identity with an idealistic spirit for Food Not Bombs, a modern political image that’s both visually engaging and intellectually stimulating.