The Dangers of Gluten | Skillshare Projects

Leona Hussey

Graphic Designer



The Dangers of Gluten


Eating gluten free (GF) is a topic that’s been in the news a lot recently and interests me greatly as I’ve been GF for fourteen years. I never tested for coeliac disease before cutting out gluten, though I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), another autoimmune disease, which affects the central nervous system. 

There is mounting scientific evidence proving that gluten is the cause of many of today’s common illnesses. This forms the basis of my illustration.

1 & 2: Idea & Concept

The initial idea that came to mind was a burger. It’s a food that is recognised worldwide and the image epitomises all that is *unhealthy, whereas gluten free is increasingly accepted as a healthy way of eating. 

Words relating to unhealthy

*junk food, fast food, fat, carbs, takeaway, takeout, 

When I see bread/burgers etc, I remember the excruciating pain that I experienced after eating wheat. I also remember the fatigue and bloating. 

My final illustration will be a hand lettered drawing spelling ‘gluten damage’ and the symptoms that are linked to gluten damage.

Below, are the initial notes I made when I first had the idea. I was going to also address the issues around livestock farming, but decided to concentrate on gluten. (I figured, one issue at a time.)

3: Sketching Ideas

After my initial sketches, I made a simple line drawing of a burger and scanned this. I then digitised this in Illustrator and printed it. This is what I’ll use as my template for my hand lettered illustration.

I decided to go with the top picture, as I thought the second image looked similar to a macaroon, or cookie sandwich.

4: Illustration

The picture below is an illustration of my original idea, but I feel that it doesn’t clearly translate an image of an burger.

I’ve reworked it to the images below. I think the white lettering more clearly expresses the message. You can see it’s a burger in a bun. 

I think there’s something more I can do, but haven’t quite figured it out yet.

I welcome any feedback.

4: Illustration (update)

Following Anita’s suggestion, I reworked the images (see above), taking the filling from the image 2 and the bun from image 3. I also played with the image a little further, making the bun dark and the text a lighter hue. (I also corrected the spelling of ‘schizophrenia’.)

Having played around with the images, these are my thoughts:

top pic: the dark text on a light bun suggests an obvious connection between gluten and these illnesses. 

bottom pic: the light text, almost hidden inside the bun, illustrates gluten lurking in the background, quietly creating havoc. 

What are your thoughts?

5: Finalising

This is the final illustration. It was created in Illustrator, originally from a scanned hand drawn illustration. The message is that the illnesses attributed to gluten are not always immediately apparent.


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