I’m Bodil, a book and identity designer from Trondheim, Norway, holding a PhD in Typography & Graphic Communication from the University of Reading. My research interest concentrates on the verbal and visual presentation of health messages on food labels dating from 1850 to 1970. Please read my blog and have a look at my work. Feel free to get in touch if you think there is something I can do for you. Get in touch ›
– a blog about my work, research, ideas, typography and passion for books.
WORK | Operating simultaneously as a graphic designer and researcher is not always easy and several days contains work from both disciplines. My everyday life inspires this year’s annual report for my own company, from the food I am eating, where I am working, what I am reading to travels, archives and preparations for new book projects.
PHD | Spending one day in The National Archives, Kew London researching milk-related documents from the 1930-1950s; advertisements, letters and written communication between the Milk Marketing Board and various agencies. A huge and crowded place, many documents, a lot of information and many impressions. Some useful stuff – some not…
PHD RESEARCH / INSPIRATION | Bringing my Mac, books, many articles and proper shoes to Norwich for a few days to write, think, be inspired, walk, drink good coffee – write more, read more, think more, drink more good coffee
PHD RESEARCH | The Ephemerist is a quarterly magazine published by The Ephemera Society in the UK. Issue No 186 is bringing together an eclectic group of articles on the theme of ephemera and Food and Drink. My research is presented as a timeline and shows examples of food labels from three periods: 1850–1918, 1918–1945 and 1945–1970. The study explores exchanges in their visual organisation in the context of key social changes, the discovery of the relationship between diet and health, label legislation and the regulation of food production.
Postgraduate research communication success. Congratulations to postgraduate researcher Bodil Mostad Olsen who has won the University’s prize for research communication in a poster competition, held as part of the University’s annual Doctoral Research Conference. Bodil’s communication of her research topic – the history of health communication on food labels – was judged top among a very competitive field of posters representing research across a wide range of arts, science and social science disciplines. Her poster illustrates her collections-based research. It shows the changing influences of scientific understanding of food hygiene and nutrition, food packaging technology, and societal change on the presentation of food to consumers from 1850–1970. This area of typographic and graphic communication practice, although influential in people’s everyday decision-making, has not been considered previously from this wide, contextual perspective.
WORK / PERSONAL PROJECT | As my PhD is a full-time study, 2018 has been characterised by more research than design projects. The annual report for my own company is therefore visually inspired by food labels and in particular Sainsbury´s packaging design from 1950-60. The front page is part of a label from 1964 from The Sainsbury´s Archive, Museum of London Docklands.
PHD RESEARCH | I am identifying the visual organisation of typical graphic characteristics in food labels and presenting the observations as infographics. It considers the typographical hierarchy and the presentation and style of images, including how usage has changed over time.
PHD RESEARCH | Nice to be in the Department at this time of the year. Just finished my second research paper Working towards a definition of “Health message”, which is presented as part of a research seminar in the Department.
WORK | I am designing material for the next Paper Dialogue exhibition. The exhibition has been shown at Today Art Museum in Bejing, Shanghai, Norway and Jersey and is now coming to Center for Papirkunst in Denmark 22 March 2019. Posters, invitations, wall text etc. are prepared for the exhibition. See the catalogue and the Paper Dialogues visual identity.