27 December 2007

[logo_design] Calling Tubers Everywhere – Here Comes IYP

1206. I don't know how we missed this one ... 2008 has been deemed, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., the International Year of the Potato, or IYP.

It's no IGY, but you can't have it all, I suppose.

The impulse, when such a mundane staple is celebrated in such a universal fashion, is to wonder if it's a goof; such is our sophisticated drive-by, pick-up media-saturated culture (you know, the one that treats La Britney's next trailer park moment as news even when more serious things are happening). No, it's not a goof; this is a serious, year-long, international promotional effort to elevate awareness of the Solanum tuberosum, the world's fourth-largest fresh produce crop (after wheat, rice, and corn).

We aren't that unhappy about it; after all, we likey the tuber in a muchly way. And it gives us a chance to analyze some logo talk. Refer, if you all would be so very kind, to the provided illustration (including the IYP's tagline, Hidden Treasure, an apt tagline which has so very many subjective associations).

The logo is very abstract but not when it comes to the potato itself. There are four shapes – one above, one below – which clearly evoke a potato by shape impression. The colors are are all earthy, reminding us of watercolors such as umber and ocher – colors which can be made from earth themselves. They are also more simply evocative of potatoes one might actually see at the market or dig out of the ground themselves. The arcs sequestering both groups of 'tatoes are excellent eye-flow enhancers, giving strong structure, order, and logic to a logo which is made of a great many disconnected parts – like the rug in The Dude's room, it ties the whole thing together. And we would be remiss for not pointing out the Helvetica font, a good example of appropriate use that prevents one from dwelling too much on the perception that Helvetica is a font that's been played to death

And, speaking of logo talk, the IYP site has an equally cogent explanation:

The logo of the International Year of Potato was created by Italian graphic designer Giancarlo de Pol. The main graphic elements - above, a bowl with harvested potatoes and below, in the earth, a golden tuber - symbolize the intimate link between humanity and agriculture.

To reiterate, there's a whole event, complete with activites for the kiddies, documented at the IYP's website here.

Oh, and credit where due: BrianKaneOnline, where I read it after browsing his blog for a few minutes after he linked to my Channel 7's article. Good catch, Brian!

Tags: , ,

No comments: