Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Redesigning the Pill Bottle


In April, New York Magazine ran a great feature story about a School of Visual Arts grad student who redesigned the pill bottle. After her grandmother accidentally swallowed the wrong pills, Deborah Adler decided it was time for a change. Her SVA thesis, called Safe Rx, was eventually picked up by Target, who debuted the new pill containers in May. Her design addresses many of the flaws of the old-style bottles, some noticeable, some not. More than anything, though, the redesign is a great design story. As Michael Beirut explains in this Design Observer story:

As someone who has tried for years to interest the general public in graphic design without much success, I can tell you straight out that this story has it all. The subject is a common object with which nearly everyone is familiar, and with which everyone is frustrated to boot. The problem to be solved is not mere ugliness (although an amber-colored prescription bottle is ugly) but literally a matter of life or death. Even the moment of inspiration is appealing: who can’t relate to the story of those confused grandparents, and cheer when graphic design comes to the rescue?

The bottle looks great, and it really is a design story people can grab on and relate to.

Also, and what really made me want to write this entry, until November 23rd the School of Visual Arts is running a show titled ClearRX: From Master’s Thesis to Medicine Cabinet, so if you live in New York, make sure to check it out. I’ll make sure to let you know how it is after I stop by.

October 31, 2005