| Italian Food Illustrations, Including Staple Made-in-Italy Ingredients that are EU-Certified (DOP and IGP), by Illustrator and Artist Yaansoon |
In October 2018, I won an RFP floated by the Italian Trade Agency – ITA (Agenzia ICE), inviting a number of design and illustration agencies and artists to place their bids with samples of artwork that answer to the RFP, with a section on art direction and illustration style.
In here, I am sharing with you the main illustrated products created for the Italian Culinary Week event – mainly the Italian cheese, pasta, and desserts prints and posters that I came up with. Those were printed out with official Italian logos at the bottom of each poster (not included here), and were distributed as a giveaway at around 11 events in 2 countries, including food-tasting events and gala dinners featuring authentic Italian ingredients.
The illustrator with the winning technical and financial proposal was tasked to create a number of illustration & design products – within a tight deadline – for events showcasing the excellence of Italian food ingredients, as well as this European nation’s gastronomic way of life.
The events were part of the Italian Culinary Week (Settimana della Cucina Italiana nel mondo), part of Italian Taste (#ItalianTaste2018 #Vivereall’italiana), celebrated for the 3rd year in a row in November 2018. This is a worldwide event launched by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its embassies, and carried out by the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), which is tasked to promote Italian products, investments and partnerships globally.
The RFP requested the following deliverables:
- 3 illustrated posters and 3 roll-up banners of Italian food illustrations and ingredients (cheese, pasta, desserts) with hand-lettering
- 1 illustrated roll-up banner marking the official launch of the Italy Culinary Week’s events
- 1 certificate of participation design
- 2 illustrated gala dinner menus in bookmark size
- 2 illustrated screen backgrounds (in 16:9 and 3:4 format) as event backdrops, using projectors
- Illustrated 32-slide presentation, for a food-tasting workshop dubbed “The Excellence of Authentic Italian Ingredients,” highlighting DOP and IGP-certified products
The Italian food illustrations had to be consistent and within the same art direction. Artwork also had to come with font pairings or hand-lettering in Italian and Arabic (I went for hand-lettering since I’m an illustrator). Some auxiliary designs (like the certificate of participation) were in English.
Italian Food Illustrations: What Are DOP & IGP?
Most of the ingredients in the project’s Made-in-Italy cheese posters and roll-up banners are EU-certified agri-food products. To elaborate, the following illustrated cheeses are all DOP certified: Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Mozzarella di Bufala, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, Asiago, Taleggio, Caciocavallo Silano, Fontina, Provolone Valpadana.
The Burrata di Andria cheese, on the other hand, is IGP certified. While the Ricottais not an EU certified product, it was included in the poster illustrations for its popularity as a staple Italian ingredient.
DOP and IGP are two of several EU certifications to indicate the quality and authenticity of agricultural-based food products created within the European Union. Italy scores the highest number of EU quality certifications, with 299 products under its belt.
DOP is short for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, which translates into “Protected Designation of Origin” – ensuring that products like the famed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are made from locally grown ingredients, as well as locally packaged, guaranteeing to the consumer that the food was made by local farmers and artisans using age-old traditional methods.
IGP, on the other hand, is short for Indicazione Geografica Protetta and literally translates into “Protected Geographical Indication.” This EU protective trademark is used to certify foods and agricultural products based on the geographical area in which they were produced, processed, and/or prepared. In other words, the IGP guarantees that at least one primary ingredient essential to the product, or stage of production, were local to a specific geographic area.
Italian Culinary Week: Patronage & Target Audience
Patronage: The events were held under the patronage of Italian ambassadors, consulates, and Italian senators.
A Multi-Faceted Target Audience: The events were tailored for each segment, as follows: Cooking-school students, importers/distributors of Italian products, and TV cooking shows, among others.
The Italian Culinary Week also starred cooking workshops and dinners hosted by Pastry Chef Federico Anzellotti, president of CONPAIT (The Italian Confederation of Pastry Chefs), and Chef Marco Murenu, of an Italian restaurant located at the Marriott hotel.
La cucina italiana, delizia dei palati mediorientali – Exportiamo.it
Client: The Italian Trade Agency – ITA (Agenzia ICE). The Agency’s full name in Italian is: Agenzia per la promozione all’estero e l’internazionalizzazione delle imprese italiane).
Year: Oct – Nov 2018
Illustration Technique: I created these Italian food illustrations using a Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 pen display tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 smart tablet, and digital brushes on Adobe Photoshop and the ArtFlow app. I also scanned analogue watercolour washes I created using professional-grade watercolours and incorporated them into the illustrations digitally. The lettering was created using custom digital ink brushes on Adobe Photoshop.