There is a lot of talk about the accessibility of cities or buildings for those people with mobility problems, but also packaging can be more accessible. The partially sighted, for example, may find it difficult to open a box or to read the directions on a package. Pack designers almost never take into consideration the difficulties of those who may have visual limitations.
However, there are interesting experiments that meet the needs of the partally sighted, helping them to approach various boxes, packs and many different packages.
For example, Kellogg’s has launched “Love Notes”, an edition of the Rice Krispies designed for partially sighted and autistic children. The packages are based on tactile experience: stickers in fleece, faux fur, satin or velvet help recognize the product and open it comfortably, also transmitting a feeling of “cuddle”.
Victorialand Beauty is a US company specialized in cosmetics. To help the partially sighted, they have created CyR.U.S., a system of tactile symbols placed on the packs that helps to identify the product. In addition, embossed QR codes have been created which, once scanned, trigger an audio message with the description of the cosmetic, the list of ingredients and instructions for use.
This path is also followed by the Italian Narrative Label project, developed by the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially sighted of Cosenza in collaboration with the start up Sisspre Srl. The initiative adopts simple technologies: QR code and smartphone. By framing the QR code of a package with the camera, the user can “be told” by an audio file about the characteristics of the product inside.
The reflection on packaging aimed at the partially sightrd also concerns the readability of fonts and graphic elements. Many designers are working to create a new generation of packs with high contrast colors, large sans-serif fonts and easy to recognize shapes.
For example, the Vision 20/20 project proposes packs characterized by a strong contrast between black and yellow, large Helvetica fonts and easily identifiable circles and triangles. These shapes are also scannable, like giant QR codes, to get additional information.