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How Pastafarian takes a Totally New Perspective on Traditional Pasta

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 06/19/2017 | 4 Minute Read

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Most pastas take a bit of inspiration from Italy, for obvious reasons—which is what makes Pastsafarian so refreshingly different. The concept comes from Ryan Panchal, a multi-disciplinary designer based in Essex, who has a passion for photography, typography and illustration.

What: a playful pasta packaging concept that uses Rastafarianism as its leading inspiration.

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What was your driving inspiration in creating this concept?

Ryan Panchal: The inspiration for Pastafarian all stemmed from the name. This starting point established the fun nature of the brand. With such a playful name it didn’t feel right to have a serious visual language

Why did you opt to go with colorful elements against black (rather than white, or another color)?

Ryan Panchal: Reggae culture is very colourful, everything from their music and clothes to the food is all very vibrant. Therefore the colour palette for Pastafarian couldn’t be dull and muted. The green, red and yellows pop well against the dark backgrounds—this would give the packaging good shelf stand-out.

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How did you balance Pastafarian being playful and fun without becoming too kitschy or a cliched/offensive take on Rastafarianism?

Ryan Panchal: I tackled the sensitive nature of Rastafarianism by not using photography or cliche symbols of the culture. Instead, through the use of typography and colour the brand strikes a balance between serious and fun. To begin with, the brand didn’t feel quite right when designing some of the initial posters (see below) as they felt too sophisticated and ridged. When I started being a bit more experimental with the type, by rotating the characters and overlaying bits of pasta, the posters started to feel like they belonged to the name. The idea behind the identity came from the characteristics of pasta. Pasta will take the shape of whatever it is put in. This inspired the type to do the same, by being very loose and flexible.

How did you create the specialized noodle typography used in the name?

Ryan Panchal: The type was all based on different pasta shapes. It was then animated in after effects to really bring it to life. If this project was to become more than a concept, I'd love to create a working typeface in 4/5 different weights. Each cut named after a different pasta type (‘Linguine', ‘Macaroni’, Fusilli’ etc.).

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Although this is a concept, what considerations did you keep in mind when creating it? How would you like to see this come to life?

Ryan Panchal: If this were a real project the ambition would be for it to open into a pasta restaurant. It’d be called the ‘Rastaurant’ which would serve some classic Rasta dishes with a pasta twist. If there are any pasta entrepreneurs out there that want to help me bring this brand to life, then shoot me an email! 

Why we love it / Why we picked it: Ryan Panchal executed his vision perfectly, making the design playful and fun without becoming too clichéd or inconsiderate to the culture. Everything from the color choice to the typeface to the handles on to-go bags ties in its inspiration, and yet nothing is over-the-top. It gives us a totally new perspective on pasta.

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