Here at 877 we take playing with our food very, very seriously.

The past months we’ve been busy rolling out the national launch for Student Lunch Menu, a new menu planning service for school food service directors. We developed the logo, brand identity and helped develop the service’s UI/UX. 

We’ve created all sorts of material, from print to email campaigns to trade-show banners and displays. Much of our effort, though, went toward a particularly fun project that tastes just as sweet as it looks. 

Inspired by the playful work of food typographer Becca Clason, we designed our own dynamic piece centered around the idea that, in an educational setting, food serves a purpose. Food is fuel, and kids use that fuel to learn, play and grow. 

Method to the Madness

We began with a thumbnail sketch to nail the composition down. That sketch was then cleaned up in Illustrator and printed on transparency. More on that later.

template design

On the day of the shoot, we took to the grocery store and grabbed a variety of vibrant fruits. Apples, bananas, limes, lemons, berries of all shapes and size – if it was available, we bought it. (And ate it throughout the day. #fruitheaven) 

Once we got to the studio, we rigged a Nikon D800 with a wide-angle lens over a stretch of blue paper overlaid with a pane of anti-reflective glass. Fruit’s all sticky, and we didn’t want to get the paper wet as we shot throughout the day. 

behind the scenes shot

We connected the camera to a spare monitor to give us a bigger, better view of the action. Then we taped the transparency over the monitor, which we referenced as we built the letterforms out with fruit. We chopped, sliced and diced as we went, carving chunks of fruit to fit wherever we needed, always looking back to reference the monitor. It’s a strange, sort of disembodied way to work.

 food fuels fun monitor

Once we had the initial design completed, we lit the scene and shot it. And then we began disassembling the design, nudging its component pieces inch by inch, taking pictures each time, until we’d “animated” the process of its creation in reverse. It’s just as time consuming and tedious as it sounds, but time flies when you’ve got a steady supply of fresh strawberries to keep your mind and mouth occupied. 

Student Lunch Menu Banner Video from Agency 877 on Vimeo.