Nigel Ball is a British graphic designer and professor at the University Campus Suffolk. Since 2001 he has developed a photographic project, McJunk, documenting the omnipresence of the McDonald’s brand in places such as urban streets and sidewalks, in the country, and even along coastal areas. What makes Ball’s project relevant is the fact that the brand of the most famous fast food chain is depicted exclusively in the form of junk: in each picture the yellow M is found upon a can thrown to the ground, or on the remains of a polystyrene package that once held a BigMac—or on a French fries wrapping left at the side of the road.
As Ball itself explains, during time McJunk grew up to become a visual research exploring the close relationship between graphic design and the culture of disposability: “The more the project has grown, the more McDonald’s litter has formed a visual meme in my mind that has come to raise questions about graphic design’s wider societal responsibilities”.
In addition to a book gathering 67 colour pictures and a critical text, McJunk is today present on the Internet, with a photographic set—which has reached 635 images—on Ball’s Flickr page, to which anyone can add their own pictures portraying McJunk.