“Can you help open this?” Is a common question.
Whether it’s a child who is struggling to gain independence, a parent who has limited vision, or one of the one billion who suffers from disability.
Packaging seems to be more complex than it was ever intended to be. Let’s shift the question to the Brand Owners, Designers, Printers/Converters and Engineers, can you help open this?
One Billion and Counting.
Did you know over one billion people in the world live with some form of disability? That’s 15% of the consumer market who’s focusing their precious energy on surviving the day, not having a wrestling match with a flex pack. As a member of the disabled community, I’ve learned first hand just how important Universal Packaging is to consumers.
There are two sides to being disabled. The downside, when feeling defeated by the loss of function and spirt. The upside, owning ones disability and choosing to find ways to live with it. By keeping Universal Package Design as top priority, Brands can increase user independence, which enables positive experiences all around.
Living with Disability
What’s it like to live with disability? Try taping your fingers together at the joints, and then tape your thumb to your palm. Close one eye, now the other— keep them closed! Let’s tie one arm behind our back. Then, insert earplugs and sit down in a (wheel)chair. Because, who needs legs? Annnnd— open a package that is unfamiliar to you! Can you see where I’m going with this?
If you tried any of the challenges above, you have taken a step into understanding what it’s like to live with a disability. Restrictive packaging can not only create frustration and disappointment, but can amplify ones disability.
Disabling Abilities, with packaging.
There is one thing that disabled people wish for most in life— independence!
Having to rely on others for their survival day-to-day comes with a heavy burden. The consumer should not have to take a risk…by interacting with a package. A hard-to-open-package can be debilitating to someone who has muscular pain and fatigue, joint instability, fragile skin, inflamed joints and missing limbs/ digits. Creating larger twist caps, large tabs for reclosures and avoiding heat sealed clamshells, are some of the ways brands are solving the challenges today.
Most products leave vision-impaired-consumers left in the dark and unable to access clear user instructions. The guessing game can end negatively if two similar containers, with different products, are indistinguishable. Adding unique shapes to the container, using textured print effects and:or interactive QR code’s, can enable the disabled to function independently.
What’s the Solution?
PAC Global has disrupted the face of the packaging industry by influencing the others with the benefits of universal packaging. This can preserve and enhance function, independence and Brand exclusivity for all individuals. Universal Design of products and packages must be understood so they can be used to the largest extent, by all people, regardless of their size, age, ability or disability. What can you do to enable independence through packaging?
Graphics & Packaging Expert
Dustie’s a creative genius who’s approach to enhancing packaging is a fun, functional and fabulous!
Since 2005, she has globally influenced packaging through concept development, graphic upgrades, print enhancements, container rejuvenation and facilitating packaging innovation sessions with CPG’s, Brands,
Label & Packaging Suppliers, Printers and Converters and Container Manufacturers. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome required a pit stop from Dustie’s career, in order to adapt to her newly acquired disabilities.Dustie uses creative media’s to educate others how to adapt our world to include the 1B disabled community members.