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  • Truth in Packaging

    April 24, 2006

    I took a design class in college and I remember the very first day of class, the professor informed us that everything has a design, which up to that point, I hadn’t really thought about. Everything you see around you, every product, every package, every object, every everything — someone consciously made decisions about it’s size, shape, color and how it functions.

    I thought back to that first day of design class the other day as I struggled to tear open one of those so-called “easy open” zip-lock packages of grated cheese. According to what was printed on the package, I was supposed to Tear Here and Voila! I would then behold the American dream – instant cheese! But, alas there was no voila and no cheese. After a dozen futile attempts, the loss of my one good fingernail and a cut on my lip from trying to chew the package open like a feral dog, I was left with only my frustration and an unfulfilled dream of instant cheese gratification.

    As I was dabbing at my cut lip, I was thinking of suing the package designer for malpractice or at least pain and suffering. My next impulse was to redesign the package into a chedder fast ball and hurl it across the room. Until I saw two big blue eyes taking it all in. And I didn’t want him thinking Mommy had just invented a fun new food hurling game, because there would be no going back on that. I decided that whomever designed this easy open package should be forced to try to open it with a pair of dull left-handed kiddy sissors while a screaming two-year-old hangs from his leg. Because that’s what I was doing just before I got the idea for cheese baseball.

    I think it would foster more goodwill for the cheese people if they would just clearly and truthfully print on the packaging: “Don’t even think about trying to open this package until you find your good sissors and your kid is asleep. And you are not on your period or about to be. Have you lost weight?”

    Perhaps it is just my nature to be frustrated by these kinds of things but I am on a campaign to get corporate America to be more truthful about packaging because I CAN handle the truth. Here are some ideas I have for more truthful packaging that I am thinking of sending in:

    Old: Easy Open
    New: Easy Open! ROFL!

    Old: Kids Love’em!
    New: Only Dogs That Eat Poop Will Eat This Stuff

    Old: Reasealable
    New: Reasealable – Duct Tape Not Included.

    Old: Tear Here
    New: Tear Here — But Not Before Your Meds

    Old: Single Serving
    New: Single Serving — If you’re Ashley Olsen

    Old: Peel Back Corner To Open
    New: Peel Back Corner! Snort! Kidding! It’s one piece – Gotcha!

    Old: Fat Free
    New: Tastes Like Fat-Free Shag Carpet

    Old: Fresh Scent
    New: May make large dogs overly friendly.

    On the other hand, even those rolls of plastic wrap and foil sometimes confound me, so it could just be me.

    Anybody else have packaging issues?

    1 Comment »

    1. becca says:

      Ohhhh! I’m so glad I read that. The best part was about the feral dog. We love your word pictures.

      March 7th, 2007 at 6:32 pm

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