- Dreamstime | Bryan Parmelee
“I was walking through the farmers market one Saturday and thought to myself, How do these farmers market their consumable commodities to new and emerging markets?” said Serge Kernmeister, chief creative officer of principal creativity and creative thinking at Mindmelt Design.
“You could imagine my dismay when I noticed that most of the vegetables they sold did not even come in any sort of thoughtfully designed packaging," he continued. "How do these farmers expect to connect consumers with their products through meaningful experiences?”
St. Albans organic farmer Rickie “The Greenhouse” Flouss said he was initially confused, but still impressed when Kernmeister offered to help him more effectively market his vegetables.
“Normally, people and restaurants just sort of buy my crops because they need them and they want to support local farmers,” said Flouss. “I had never even considered the dynamic design user interface experience or whatever the hell he was talking about. It sure sounded really important, though.”
“Design is communication, and every veggie has a unique story to tell,” Kernmeister told the Parmelee Post. “Just like their genetically modified counterparts, organic vegetables are constantly evolving, so it’s only natural that their branding evolves over time as well.”
Not everyone is convinced vegetables require branding, however. Rival design studio Fonts4Change’s head creative communicator of creative communications, Troy Ellenburgs, said that Kernmeister is desperately digging for work where none is needed.
“Vegetables are not a market commodity that requires branding — they're a vital life source,” said Ellenburgs. “Besides, didn’t Mindmelt do some design work for Dow Chemical? How can you work for a giant chemical company and still claim to give a shit about organic farming? Or Earth?”
When pressed on this issue, Kernmeister responded that brands evolve. “Today’s chemical companies are tomorrow’s not-for-profit hospitals,” he said. “I’m just here to tell stories with empowering narratives that create a culture of curiosity.
“Most people just look at a carrot and think, Wow, what a delicious looking carrot. Perhaps I will cook this for dinner," he continued. "But do they ever consider how that carrot came to be and why that’s important? That’s the story I’m interested in telling. I just need to find the right font, first.”
The Parmelee Post is a weekly series featuring tough investigative reporting on news that hasn't happened.