Of Feed and Food (Japfa 2020)

Japfa is a multinational Singaporean company involved in industrial farming and food production – they manufacture animal feed, raise and slaughter animals and sell the processed meat and dairy to customers across five Asian nations. Their 2020 report focuses on delivery – a bold choice considering how difficult 2020 was for the planet.

Visually, the idea of ‘delivery’ is interpreted as the delivery of small parcels. This is seen most clearly on the cover and carried forward in the early pages. The report uses overhead photographs to show employees moving boxes in a fireman’s bucket brigade. It’s a striking image because the scale is so human. Japfa’s products are delivered via large networks of ships and trucks and by framing their deliveries as small, personal transactions, they acknowledge the work of their 40,000 employees.

Japfa’s report makes good use of the iconography of their trade. Cattle, pigs, chicken and bags of feed are depicted in fine, black illustrations in a number of styles and these occur frequently in the report. Colour is used well, the designers settling for a soft palette of mostly browns and oranges, echoing the quaint farmyard image the report seeks to convey. The type treatment is a little unusual in that it is the only design element that references the industrial factory farm – the narrow, distressed sans serif typeface appearing gritty and out of place against the rest of the ‘soothing’ design.

One infographic in the report is worth spending time with – it’s a world map made of fried eggs. It may not be information-rich, but it’s pretty and it firmly drives home the end products of Japfa’s work.

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