Packaging Innovation
braille packaging design
July 29, 2017

Is your packaging design blind to the visually impaired? 

Braille information on pharmaceutical packaging is a given these days, but the same cannot be said for other types of product packaging. Aiming to highlight the issue, Swedish packaging designer Alexandra Burling created Color Me Blind: attractive packaging design for the visually impaired.

Pharmaceutical packaging design is leading the way

In general, braille is a rare phenomenon in the packaging and labelling industry. While all member states of the EU have been required to include braille on pharmaceutical packaging since 2010, commercial product packaging manufacturers are free to choose whether they include braille or not. As most of them opt not to, many visually impaired individuals at the supermarket find themselves having to rely on passers-by to make sure they put the right products in their shopping carts. A problem that needs addressing, felt packaging designer Alexandra Burling, who decided to turn the issue into her graduation project.

Did you know?

Pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers invest in dedicated management systems like Esko’s WebCenter to ensure all information in braille is correct.

Opening the eyes of the packaging industry

“I wanted to make something that actually meant something, not just something for my graduation,” Alexandra comments. “I thought about how for graphic design, the main sense that you need to experience is sight. What happens if you remove that sense?” And so she did when she created Color Me Blind, a packaging range including a milk carton, a can of tomatoes and a cereal box. Instead of color, Alexandra stuck to a white and gray palette and used textured patterns to inform the visually impaired of the product’s country of origin, ingredients and best-before dates.

Highlighting disparity

So why did Alexandra choose not to include color? It doesn’t really make a difference to the blind, after all, and it would make the packaging appeal to consumers with regular sight, too. As you may have guessed, Alexandra excluded color from her design to highlight disparity. As the visually impaired are an oft-forgotten group of consumers, she wanted to make others see (no pun intended) things from their perspective for once.   Inspired by Packaging-Gateway