Typographic exploration

The world of E-numbers

This project takes a look at all the stuff we put in our food to make it look brighter, taste better and last longer. Food (E)sthetics investigates the interesting world of E numbers.

These numbers are codes for chemicals that are often used as food additives. They’re in roughly half of all supermarket products and are the key ingredients in some of our most popular foods. Apart from recognizing these numbers on food ingredient labels, we seem to know very little about them. Even though E numbers are meticulously evaluated and approved by numerous safety authorities they still receive a bad rap in society, and I wanted to know why? What’s in a number? – Enough to make you think.

E100 Postcard E102 Postcard EE110 Postcard E121 Postcard E300 Postcard E150 Postcard E161 Postcard E162E120 Postcard E170 Postcard E131 Postcard E132 Postcard

Exploring the numbers through type

Diving into the world of E-numbers unearthed an interesting battle amongst the numbers. Some would be completely innocent with natural qualities that qualify them to be specified, while others can be quite harmful when consumed.

Exploring the number typographically meant that I was able to play a game of association – and give each number a personality or layer of context through type. With every number came a discovery of materials and their characters.

List of E-numbers
Project credits

This project was completed during my studies in response to the 2013 ISTD student brief Food for thought.

Student brief from
Toggle projects