The New York Post has a detailed design case study on Target’s new prescription bottle by Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts May
How the pill bottle was remadeâ€”sensibly and beautifully.
“By the time an object, or an apartment, or a company hits the half-century mark, itâ€™s usually been through a redesign or two. Yet the standard-issue amber-cast pharmacy pill bottle has remained virtually unchanged since it was pressed into service after the second World War. (A child-safety cap was added in the seventies.) An overhaul is finally coming, courtesy of Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts at Target pharmacies May 1”.
(1) Easy I.D.
The name of the drug is printed on the top of the bottle, so itâ€™s visible if kept in a drawer.
(2) Code red.
The red color of the bottle is Targetâ€™s signatureâ€” and a universal symbol for caution.
(3) Information hierarchy.
Adler divided the label into primary and secondary positions, separated by a horizontal line. The most important information (drug name, dosage, intake instructions) is placed above the line, and less important data (quantity, expiration date, doctorâ€™s name) is positioned below.
(4) Upside down to save paper.
Klaus Rosburg, a Brooklyn-based industrial designer hired by Target, came up with an upside-down version that stands on its cap, so that the label can be wrapped around the top. Every piece of paper in the package adds up to one eight-and-a-half-by-fourteen-inch perforated sheet, which eliminates waste and makes life easier for pharmacists.
(5) Green is for Grandma.
Adler and Rosburg developed a system of six colored rubber rings that attach to the neck of the bottle. Family members choose their own identifying shade, so medications in a shared bathroom will never get mixed up.
(6) An info card thatâ€™s hard to lose.
A card with more detailed information on a drug (common uses, side effects) is now tucked behind the label. A separate, expanded patient-education sheet, designed by Adler, comes with three holes so it can be saved in a binder for reference.
(7) Take â€œdaily.â€
Adler avoided using the word once on the label, since it means eleven in Spanish.
(8) Clear warnings.
Adler decided that many of the existing warning symbols stuck on pill bottles donâ€™t make much senseâ€”the sign for â€œtake on an empty stomach,â€ for instance, looked like a gas tank to herâ€”so together with graphic designer Milton Glaser, for whom she now works, she revamped the 25 most important.
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