Telling stories: The role of graphic design and branding in the creation of ‘authenticity’ within food packaging | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2056-6522
  • E-ISSN: 2056-6530



Food is increasingly sold with a story, and the majority of those writing about the branding process within industry agree that this story should be ‘authentic’; a ‘true’ representation of a brand’s value or personality. Across the broader field of branding, ‘authenticity’ has become key to a product’s marketing. However, much of the language used to describe and market food is very difficult to define or standardize – terms such as ‘local’, ‘quality’, ‘authentic’ and ‘premium’ remain confusing for the customer. Furthermore, in the context of branding and marketing, multiple genres of authenticity have been defined. Therefore, the food and design industries can use this lack of clarity to their advantage, emphasizing and embellishing some aspects of a product, and perhaps even deliberately omitting others. In doing so, they develop the narrative that will best connect with their audience. In this sense, the ‘authenticity’ of the brand or product is interpreted through this interaction and can be framed as a social construction. These issues are discussed in the context of a short UK-based case study focusing on the supermarket Tesco’s ‘fake farm’ brands that utilize the design and branding of the packaging to evoke specific aspects of ‘authenticity’. The visual material is analysed using a social semiotic approach enabling a discussion of issues relating to the communication of ‘authenticity’ in the practice of graphic design and branding, and the marketing of food with a story.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): authenticity; branding; food packaging; graphic design; social semiotics
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