Think back to the last package you opened. Perhaps, the package had zip ties or you had to cut through some thick plastic. You may remember feeling frustrated and wished it could just be easier.
Inefficient packaging showcases how difficult the unboxing experience can be.
However, for those with visual impairments, these difficulties are further amplified. With World Sight Day being today, let’s discuss accessible packaging!
What is Accessible Packaging?
Accessible packaging refers to a way of packing items that makes them easy to open and access. Having accessible packaging leads to an ultimate improvement in every user’s experience.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 1 billion people worldwide have a vision impairment (from mild to full sight loss). This is when packaging design is important as it removes hassles and increases legibility for everyone.
Here are some packaging elements that help individuals with visual impairments:
- large fonts
- high-contrast colours and graphics
- easy-to-open mechanisms (e.g. loops)
- symbols and shapes or Braille (if one is completely blind)
As stated by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), less than 10% of legally blind individuals in the US use Braille and only 10% of blind children are learning it. Since Braille can take a long time to learn, symbols and shapes are becoming more favourable in packaging instead!
Companies in all kinds of industries are working towards increasing the simplicity and practicality of their packaging. Microsoft set an example for tech companies when they released the packaging for their Xbox adaptive controller in 2018.
Microsoft’s Creative Director of Design, Kevin Marshall and Microsoft Designer, Mark Weiser wanted to empower all users to game confidently. They noticed gaps for accessible products in the market and created an unboxing experience that addressed them.
Thus, they included easy to open loops, sealing tape and a hinge opening so the controller slides out. On top of that, they used rigid paperboard and pulp since they were less resistant than other types of materials.
On the other hand, cosmetic brand, Victorialand Beauty created accessibile packaging for their skincare line using four main raised symbols.
The founder, Victoria Watts wanted to use shapes, Braille and QR codes to cater towards all visual impairments. When the QR code is scanned, an audio message is linked that provides product information and user instructions.
Likewise, accessibility can also come in packaging add-ons! In 2018, multinational food manufacturing company, Kellogg’s launched Rice Krispies packaging, ‘Love Notes’ in the United States.
With these stickers, kids with visual impairments would have love messages in their lunchboxes!
Why stop just at the outside packaging? Kellogg’s wanted to ensure that their stickers would also be as accessible as possible!
The Importance of Accessibility
Packaging should be made as simple to understand as possible. It is important that brands implement elements like high-contrast graphics and large fonts when designing their product packaging.
Remember to always ask yourself if this product can be accessed without hassle by everyone.
At LeKAC, we ensure that we implement these elements as frequently as possible. Our team works at providing suggestions that we know lead to a better unboxing experience for all individuals.
We offer a variety of colours, fonts and shapes and do not place any limitations on your design. We understand that great packaging takes time!
Whether you need to include open loops or a hinge opening, we are there to help. We also provide different packaging material (including pulp) so you can simplify the unboxing experience further!
Thinking of making your products more accessible? Contact us today for additional information and let’s work together to improve the experience of all users!