One important aim of the new and welcome Food Standards Agency is to build back public trust in the food industry and its products. But the good work it will do will be undermined if manufacturers do not address the question of honesty in branding and design.
Of course, it is legitimate to use the tools of branding and design to present the product effectively and attractively. But there are still too many examples of where the design or brand name deliberately sets out to create associations which the product cannot support (fresh, healthy, made in the country, and so on). New codes on labelling will address part of the problem – but visual elements must be considered too.
Designers could perhaps self-impose a further criterion when considering good design: “Does it really tell the truth?”