April 20, 2005
Prescription Bottle Redesign
(No clever titles here folks.)
New York Magazine has a story on Deborah Adler a School of Visual Arts MFA student whose thesis project is a brilliant and much-needed redesigned prescription bottle and label. Its one of those things like the Twist & Pour paint bucket from a couple of years ago that make you wonder why we had to wait so long for someone to solve the problem.
Adlerís initial sketches had an antique apothecary design. She eventually realized that this approach sacrificed clarity for aesthetics.
This is where the breakthrough is. Her design went from being an art school project to really solving a problem in a real life way.
Adler decided that many of the existing warning symbols stuck on pill bottles don’t make much sense—the sign for “take on an empty stomach,” for instance, looked like a gas tank to her—so together with graphic designer Milton Glaser, for whom she now works, she revamped the 25 most important.
I’m glad someone else thinks that label looks like a gas tank. If only I had Milton Glaser on my side we could have taken care of that ambiguity years ago.
Apparently Target has bought the patent to Adler’s design and will begin distributing the new bottles on May 1. Hopefully this will pressure other pharmacies and manufacturers to reexamine their own labelling systems.