A Colorful Plate

How can I make learning about a serious problem fun and engaging?

The Problem

People are not aware of the dangers of consuming artificial food coloring, and that they are consuming these dyes every day. 

The Outcome

The goal with this project was to make people understand how harmful artificial food coloring is, and to convince them to take action by signing my petition for warning labels on products containing dye. I created a poster and several satirical food packages. While fun and playful, the packages actually inform the viewer of the dangers of the food dyes contained in their packages. These components were displayed in an exhibit, where viewers were able to pick up and interact with the packages. If after this interaction the viewer felt compelled to take action, they signed a petition to require warning labels on products with these dyes. 


Research & Gaging Awareness

In researching artificial food dyes, I realized how little I originally knew about the topic. I conducted a survey and found that many of my peers also didn't have much knowledge on this issue. This showed me that in order to make want people want to take action against the dyes, I needed to educate them on food dye first.


Exposing the Truth

For my exhibit, I created three food packages of products known for their high concentrations of artificial food coloring. The packages at first glance looked like they normally do, but when the viewer took a closer look and began to interact with the boxes, they realized the twist. These packages didn't hide their harmful side effects, but advertised them. 


By the end of the one day exhibit, I had over 250 signatures on my petition for warning labels on products containing artificial food coloring.