Food icons: packaging in a century of transformations

Packaging is one of the devices around which the contemporary scenario of forms of portrayal of food has gradually been built up. Packaging is the representation of its content, a necessary form of self-representation, but also a hinging element between the ideologies of food and consumption. And if packaging brings with it a whole system of stories – stories of brands, packaging technologies, the distributive systems, graphic techniques, printing techniques and figures – it is by grasping the “threads” of this tightly woven system  that we can trace the evolution of the artefact and the underlying combinations. It is all about placing the different types of packaging that have been lynchpins and key passages, and that have influenced the way we consider foodstuffs, leaving their mark on our memories and imposing a model, into sequence. And it’s about using their history to recompose a picture referred to the portrayal of foodstuffs.