Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've been interested in looking into and learning more about Fair Trade for a while so for my blog I decided to look at two different Fair trade Logo's and websites.

A good question to ask at this point would be "Is Fair trade a relevant issue for us as graphic designers to be aware of?"

I think the answer is YES!!! According to the the Fair Trade Labeling International (FLO) Web site:

In 2007 Fair trade sales amounted to approximately €2.3 billion worldwide, a 47 % year-to-year increase over 2006. At the end of 2008 there were 872 Certified Producer Organizations in 58 developing countries. That represents more than 1.5 million producers, about 7.5 million people, including dependents, who are benefiting directly from Fairtrade.

This says to me that Fair trade is an industry that is growing and expanding and as graphic designers who will be dealing with products and labeling, I think the fairtrade logo will be one that that we will increasingly encounter in the years ahead.

At present, 19 Fair trade labeling Initiatives are members of FLO. The FAIRTRADE Certification Mark is now available on dozens of different products, including hot beverages, fruit juices, fresh fruit and vegetables, biscuits, cakes and confectionery, sugar, honey and conserves, rice, wines, nuts and non-food products such as flowers, footballs and cotton.
Below are two examples of the most widely recognised fair trade logos:

This is the official FLO and most recognised fair trade logo. As much as I like the idea of fair trade, to be totally honest I don't like certain aspects of this logo.
I find it a bit over bearing and heavy. I think it often doesn't blend well with the packaging that it is found on, for example on the box of 'Jacksons' tea below which is quite a delicate and clean design. Also on the Cadbury chocolate packet or even on the soccer ball it looks like a sticker that has been just put on as an after thought. I do however think it works better in black and white than in colour as seen on the coffee package.

Having said all of this I think the fact that this logo stands out rather boldly, and dare I say even obnoxiously at times, could be a good thing because it is a logo that in order to be effective, needs to be easily recognised next to other products. I also think it is a logo that can be taken seriously, it demands your attention and it says what it is meant to say which is; "Buy me I'm a fair trade product".

Below is the American Fair Trade Logo which I think also could use a bit of an upgrade, I don't think it is as serious as the FLO logo I think it looks a bit more grass roots, maybe like something you would find at a heath food store. But despite the bad packaging in the examples below I think it does blend a bit better than the examples above.

Here are two WEB SITES to check out if ou're interested in learning more about fair trade, I especially found the FLO website easy to navigate and very informative.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that the logo is a little (?) too corporate. The U.S.version needs a serious re-think, far too complex.
    Great topic.