Designmatters in the field: Brandmatters + Food Forward

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Sherry Hoffman, Faculty Director, Designmatters November 19, 2018

Designmatters Faculty Director, Sherry Hoffman recently took her Brandmatters class on a field research trip to visit partner organization Food Forward.

The Brandmatters class partnered with a social justice organization again this Fall term. Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this local bounty with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. I love the simplicity of this brand and its lens of abundance!

The students met with the founder, Rick Nahmias, at Food Forward to get his perspective on the brand and the brief or the challenge. We were asked to consider their first ever, direct to consumer, new Produce Pickup Program. The students collaborated in small interdisciplinary teams to develop a Creative Vision Strategy that acts as a bridge between the social entrepreneurship, its goals, and the design. Some of the students volunteered and did research quite literally “in the field”, at a grapefruit harvest. I volunteered at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market where we collected over 1000 lbs of fruits and vegetables directly from the farmers.

Just two weeks from our initial meeting, the teams presented their brand strategy and design concepts to the partner, providing creative solutions in line with the spirit of the Food Forward brand. Graphic design student, Jamie Lee, is new to the Designmatters Minor and reflects on her experience below.

“This experience gave me a direction of what type of designer I want to be now, as a student and in the future as well. Brandmatters class has awakened some hidden part of me. I don’t want to make some pretty little thing just hanging on the ceiling but design with resolution to some problem or some idea. And Brandmatters has awakened the part of me that I actually care about what’s going on now and in the future.”

– Jamie Lee, Student, Graphic Design