Target is a great design innovator.

Bruce Nussbaum

There are a handful of companies that really get design--Nike, Starbucks, Apple, Motorola, Virgin and especially Target. Target began the practice of getting named architects, such as Michael Graves, and others to do wonderfully designed products at modest prices. Now Target is using designers, some named and some not, to reinvent products. Ergo, the new medicine bottle. Nothing is more annoying and more dangerous than the current medicine bottle. You know the litany of complaints. Designed to stop children from opening them, hardly anyone can open the bottles easily. And if you are elderly, the task is at times impossible.

Enter Target. DesignObserver has a great piece by Pentagram's Michael Bierut on the ClearRX pill bottle that is in the new MOMA SAFE exhibit. ClearRX was designed by graphic designer Deborah Adler when she was still a student as New York's School of Visual Arts getting her MFA. Her grandmother accidentally swallowed pills meant for her grandfather, triggering Adler's redesign. In the end, Adler redesigned the bottle itself,

clearrx.jpe

made an easy-to-read label, added color-coded rings, included a removable information card and put on new warning icons. The AIGA connected Adler to Target industrial designer Klaus Rosburg and Target Creative Director Minda Gralnek. History is made, stress is lowered and lives are saved as a result.

But there is more. Pill bottles apparently are attracting lots of attention. Yves Behar has just offered up his own redesign for Tylenol. It's also in the SAFE exhibit. I'll put it up as soon as I get an image. This is innovation and design for people. Great consumer experiences that are meaningful.

One more thought. Companies should really pay attention to students. We have the example of Adler. Beirut reminds us that Nike paid $35 to a Portland State art student for its Swoosh. And Maya Lin, of course, did the Vietnam memorial as a student. Allen, by the way, is now with the legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
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