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Lisa McTigue Pierce
September 25, 2020
1 Min Read
Photo credit: Fotos 593 – adobe.stock.com
What mastermind at The Genius Brand thought it would be a good idea to make the packaging of two opposite products in a line of supplements look nearly identical? That’s what Twitter poster Sam Hulick is wondering. He mistakenly took two caffeine pills before bedtime instead of a sleep aid.
This self-described composer, developer, entrepreneur, husband, cat dad, co-founder/CEO of @ReelCrafter — probably with no formal packaging design training — even had suggestions of his own on how to fix what he saw as a preventable confusion.
Perhaps the company (or the label printer) printed the different product labels in the same print run to save money on color plates (called gang-run printing). That happens quite often; a secondary benefit is less material waste.
But using different colors isn’t the only option. TALLman lettering — a technique that uses uppercase lettering to help differentiate look-alike drug names — is used quite successfully in pharmaceutical labeling.
The National Institutes of Health warns against taking medicines in the dark because errors are common — but it happens all the time anyway. Knowing that — and with packaging designers more interested in improving the user’s experience anyway — I wonder if anyone is using or looking at using glow-in-the-dark ink???
About the Author(s)
Executive Editor, Packaging Digest
Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.
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