In being connected to Pinterest and Tumblr recently, I’ve found a lot of inspirational typography, and especially a lot more than I would have found on my own. One of the areas that I find really interesting is edible typography. It’s really interesting in the sense that a lot of designers are really drawn to the idea of their work being a permanent thing, whether it’s a highly trafficked website or a poster or a packaging identity; edible typography removes that sense. With type made out of food of any sort, it’s a lot more tangible in the physical sense, but as soon as it’s been eaten there’s no product left, just documentation.
I think what draws me to edible type, other than things like Chocolate Scrabble or chocolate letterpress blocks, is the fact that the designer creates this product knowing he’s not going to get to keep it. That pushes my comfort zone a bit, as I’m the kind of person who likes having a permanent record of my work, I like keeping the original print, rather than just a photo of it. But such is the same with installation artists: The only record of their installation will be the documentation that comes out of it; it won’t stay in its designated exhibition space forever.
And on the total opposite hand….edible type is playful! Who doesn’t like alphabet soup, or chocolate letters, etc? It’s a chance to get to play with your food. Mom has been telling you for years and years not to play with your food, so having edible typography breaks those rules, and makes you feel like a kid again. It’s fun. Things like alphabet soup or cereal or crackers, those area a chance for everyone to play with typography. And then there are specific “typography projects” created in cookies, for example. Projects like that are more time consuming and planned out, whereas alphabet soup is something mass produced and available at most grocery stores. But it’s still typography, and it’s still fun to play with your food, no matter what age you are.