Organic Fertilizer of Awaji Island by UMA, Japan
Opinion by Richard Baird.
島の土 / Island of Soil is an organic fertiliser created to help develop good quality soil and draw out and compliment the natural power of the land. The range is made using livestock feces and processed vegetable scraps from animals raised and produce grown on the Japanese island of Awaji. It comes in two varieties, a poultry manure and sawdust mix, and a rapeseed oil cake and powder mix, both packed in two sizes, a large 15kg bag and smaller 500g bag. These will be sold through large agricultural retailers as well as small gardening shops.
Island of Soil’s packaging was created by Osaka based studio UMA. It features an unbleached card interior and a bleached and printed paper exterior, closed with a copper split pin and has a bold typographic and iconographic approach to its graphic design.
UMA’s approach honours the utility inherent to the agricultural industry through bold, straightforward typography, uncluttered layouts, few flourishes and single black ink. However, through structural design, material choice, copper split pin and pastel colours, alongside a good use of space and iconography—lighter and more detailed than you might expect—it appears far more considered.
There is a sensitivity to colour, layout and illustration you do not often see given to such a product, lending it an unexpected quality. It finds a balance between the utility of large scale agricultural practice and the care and craft of a professional or home gardener, presenting fertiliser as a higher value product and further away from the perceptions of commodity.
It might also be worth noting that the generous spacing of 島の土 and the placement and form of illustration across the fronts of the bags appear as a face. It would be nice to think of this as a playful intention, especially within the context of a product made of waste. More from UMA on BP&O.
More brand identity work by UMA: