The Foodicons

Collection.

Can we create a universal visual language to describe our food systems, one that bridges cultural barriers, increases consumer literacy, and helps shift the marketplace?

Yes.

An oft-cited challenge facing global food systems is the lack of a common language. To address this dilemma, we’ve developed Foodicons, a respected, validated, and imminently useful universal language to describe our agri-food systems.

How we started

The initiative was developed by Green Brown Blue, a food systems solutions activator led by The Lexicon with support from Food at Google. To develop this open source language system, the team collaborated with Adobe and hundreds of artists from the international design community, as well as experts in the areas of equity, food waste, climate change, agroecology, fisheries, agrobiodiversity, regenerative agriculture, alternate proteins, food safety, and true cost accounting. Together, they aligned on core terms and definitions for a foundational visual language to describe our food systems. 

Given the enormity of this undertaking, the work quickly expanded to include a series of international design challenges which engaged artists from 90+ countries. Their work was first unveiled at the UN’s World Food Forum in 2021.

This new visual language is intended to provide farmers, ranchers, restauranteurs, supply chain managers, consumers and everyone throughout global food systems with an effective way to communicate that transcends language and geographic differences. Our goal is not only to provide people with greater food literacy, but also make our food systems more transparent.

This new visual language is intended to provide farmers, ranchers, restauranteurs, supply chain managers, consumers and everyone throughout global food systems with an effective way to communicate that transcends language and geographic differences. Our goal is not only to provide people with greater food literacy, but also make our food systems more transparent.

GET INSPIRED

Are you a designer interested in contributing? Please contact us.

All designers of Foodicons own their own work but have agreed to a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide right of usage to Foodicons.org. Those who download the icons are able to edit, adapt, modify, reproduce, promote, publish, and otherwise use in any way, in any media for educational, promotional, and/or any other purposes (including commercial uses), under the Creative Commons 4.0 BY license, without having to seek permission from, and without consideration or notification to any participant or any third party. However, the designers of each icon reserve merchandising rights. This means that merchandise that use these icon as designs (as opposed to describing some other product), must be negotiated with the icons’ designers. For example, t-shirts, hats, clothing, and other merchandise that only feature an icon, itself, cannot be sold without permission from the designers.

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