Whet Your Appetite
Ever wonder how graphic design influences your food decisions? Alexander Tochilovsky, curator of “Appetite,” an exhibition at 41 Cooper Gallery at The Cooper Union, has.
“We consume things visually before we consume them physically,” he writes in the introduction to “Appetite.”
The exhibition explores graphic design in food packaging, supermarkets and eateries ranging from restaurants and diners to food trucks and carts. Viewers learn the provenance of the mysterious pigeon that often appears in the branding of Marlow & Sons Restaurant, the popular café and restaurant in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn. The pigeon serves as “sort of an underdog icon” that alludes to the restaurant’s humble start in a then depressed neighborhood that had a “seedy bodega around the corner which always had chickens out front.”
Most impressive of all the graphic design presented was the least adorned: the nutritional label that now appears on all packaged food. The simple label made up of black lines, columns and asterisked notations synthesizes 4,000 pages of regulations. It’s the Rubik’s Cube of graphic design.
“Appetite,” which opened Sept. 14, runs through Oct. 9.