3 Ways to Spot Faux "Wholesome" Foods From Pentagram Designer Michael Beirut

Brands use specific visual cues to get you to buy stuff that seems "wholesome." Michael Bierut, of the New York City design consultancy Pentagram, reveals three tricks of the trade.

Photograph by Adam Voorhes. Prop styling by Robin Finlay.

Brands use specific visual cues to get you to buy stuff that seems "wholesome." Michael Bierut of famed New York City design consultancy Pentagram reveals three tricks of the trade.

Brown Baggin' It

"Earth tones, rough-hewn typography, and stamps all evoke the world of brown rice and unprocessed flour—honest with a capital H."

At A Minimum

"The 'healthy expensive' look is understated—lots of white space. Not antiseptic but simple, like a Tiffany box."

Keep It Personal

"Labels that go on about a product ('harvested in sunny hills for generations') imply authenticity. As does transparency: Items that are hardly packaged at all—just cellophane, tape, a label—suggest it's come direct from a farm."

Looking for a snack we guarantee is healthy—no brand decoding involved? Here are 14 delicious and good-for-you options that satisfy.

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