Consumers today are becoming more health conscious in light of America's growing obesity epidemic. Because of this, food companies often selectively highlight the healthfulness of their products, while carefully de-emphasizing the unhealthy components. These messages are frequently communicated by the food packaging itself, because packaging is a major influence on a shopper's perception of the food inside. The design of the food package, comprising both the two-dimensional surfaces and overall three-dimensional form, conveys these messages through variables related to color, imagery, typography, language, and shape. This thesis examined both organic and natural food packaging to uncover how healthfulness is communicated in each product category. Graphic design variables promoting healthfulness were analyzed in conjunction with actual nutritional information to discover their congruency. In addition, other nutritional message claims were researched to find out whether they were regulated or unregulated by the government. These findings led to design applications that were intended to educate the public about these various claims and encourage consumers to make informed buying decisions. The applications were placed in a grocery store context and used unexpected formats and placements to attract consumer attention.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Natural foods--Packaging; Advertising--Natural foods; Deceptive advertising; Packaging--Psychological aspects; Advertising layout and typography--Psychological aspects; Visual communication

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Hart, Rhiannon

Advisor/Committee Member

Proctor, Karen

Advisor/Committee Member

Lachance, Patti


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TX369 .H39 2009


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