Why are product ‘How To’s so small?

My doctor’s care plan for my aging 83-year-old body prompted me to write this blog post about product ‘How To’s. He prescribed for me a 6-monthly injection of Prolia.

In layman’s terms, Prolia [generic name ‘deno-su-mab’] is a type of laboratory-made protein that slows the natural breakdown of bones. If I should trip or overbalance, the likelihood of me breaking a hip is not as great.

Now, Prolia comes in a very thoughtfully designed package containing the product in a ready-to-use syringe.

Hand holds Prolia package

Obviously, the syringe is simple for use by medically-trained personnel. And equally, it is quite easy for me to use… once I am able to read the damned instructions!

And that’s the nub of the problem. A classic example of packaging design by a team wearing blinkers. Take look at this instruction sheet:

The instruction sheet from inside the Prolia package. The sheet is 145mm x 200mm and even with 20/20 vision acuity is difficult to read in our opinion.

Product ‘How To’s. This is the instruction sheet inside an Aussie Prolia package. Even those with 20/20 vision acuity would find this difficult to read in our opinion.

Hey… ‘How To’ writers… did you give a moment’s thought to the elderly & vision impaired? How in the name of blue blazes are we expected to read this instruction sheet without a powerful magnifying glass? The dimensions of the instruction sheet are 145 mm by 200 mm. But as you can see in the pic above, less than 2/5ths of that sheet is printed upon. Why? Why not make the instructions easy to read by printing ON THE WHOLE SHEET???

And what about print size and colour?

According to publishers of books, catalogs, maps, and similar material, 6pt is the recommended minimum typeface size. But, look at the picture above. The type under the illustrations looks more like 3pt. To make readability even worse, the type is white on a purplish-grey background! At least, we can see it’s in ENGLISH… twice! So here’s hoping Amgem package designers read this blog.

Don’t start me on shower products!

Answer this one for me – who wears their spectacles under the shower? No one does. Hot water and steam make them useless as proverbial ‘TOAB’! Why then does nearly every shower recess product have such damned arty-farty, tiny print? Could it be because most package designers are youngsters and don’t wear spectacles?

So, what IS the average age of package designers in Australia?

I wondered about that and posed the question on Google. And guess what? About 666,000,000 results came up in 0.57 seconds. What item was near the top of the list? A piece titled “Do Designers Have A Professional Expiry Date?” The author is an impressive Sydney-based therapist named GAB TYDD. It is obvious Gabb knows her subject very well. Under the heading MY STORY, she writes: “I worked with an Art Director in her mid 30’s when I was in my early 20’s. Her words to me were, ‘Design is a young person’s industry.’’ If the subject interests you, it is a good read.

And finally – to help family, friends (and anyone else who uses BBQ size gas bottles) to save money, tell them about Gas Bottle Refills Dot Com Click here



Hand holds Prolia package

01/11/20 – David Briggs wrote:

Your gas bottle refills site is fantastic, incredibly helpful, and so easy to use.