FCF's Mycelium Identity

Mycelium is a fitting metaphor for food systems change and symbol for Food Connect Foundation. 

We worked with design studio, inkahoots, to create a new visual identity and website for FCF, after winning a social enterprise grant from the Qld Government. Inkahoots used a 'Post-Branding' process to create a visual identity that empowers better design of public communication for civic and activist groups by replacing corporate branding’s predatory principles with a new set of strategies embedded in a new culture of craft.  It's a creative counter to branding’s neoliberal orthodoxy.

Food Connect Foundation’s goal is to build the foundations of a truly regenerative food system, to enable a world where all Australians can access healthy, fresh, ecologically-grown food that is fair to growers to eaters, and the planet.

The visual identity is the result of discussions with stakeholders about community connections and food systems change. The identity is based on mycelium network theory, presenting a dynamically coded generative icon that renders randomly from a single ‘spore’ each time it appears.

Every new version is unique, (ie. a fingerprint) but iterations maintain enough similarity to be instantly recognised as the same logo. Detailed fragments (a ‘pruned branch’) can be enlarged and used as graphic elements (emphasising links/connections).

Mycelium is a web of fungal threads – vital elements of the soils’ ecosystem, and therefore for life itself, enabling ecosystems to communicate, share resources and flourish. If you want to create a resilient, adaptable system, then there is much to learn from mycelium.

Mycelium is an active, living network. It dynamically explores and expands according to environmental context. As a network it is extremely fluid and adaptable to change (and potentially immortal!). Its shape reflects its time and place – no two iterations are ever the same. Some theorists have even proposed a mycelium philosophy of interdependency as an alternative to individualistic consumer capitalism.

Food Connect Foundation Story with Fungal Systems Theory

Spore germination
Spores are like new ideas, new communities or new start-ups. They begin as disparate and separate nodes and as they germinate, they begin to explore and form new connections. In doing so they form small networks which have the potential to meet up and form larger networks.

Established mycelium network
Mycelium networks can be an analogy for supply chains in food systems. Developing more organic, resilient, efficient and nourishing means for food trade.

Fruiting body
When two compatible networks meet and the conditions are right, the threads of the system weave together to yield fruit (mushrooms) – a form that pushes above ground and contributes visible, tangible value to the system as a whole (ie society). These moments provide the conditions for more networks to form – as ideas are spread and new organisations are formed, spores are dropped and the cycle repeats itself.

We want to thank the Qld Government's Social Enterprise Growth Grant and inkahoots for generously providing part of their services pro-bono to ensure this project reached its potential.