Domino Printing Sciences has partnered with Proctor and Gamble (P&G) to create an inclusive solution to product labelling to assist visually impaired customers distinguish between personal care products during use.
Telling the difference between items such as shampoo and conditioner can be challenging for someone living with a visual impairment, so P&G alongside Domino have started trying to find a solution. It was clear that with such a small number of Braille users, this was not providing a significant enough distinguishment between products. In fact, studies have shown that less than 10% of people registered as legally blind can read Braille.
Sumaira Latif, P&G’S Special Consultant for Inclusive Design said: “Most shampoo and conditioner bottles are designed to look and feel the same.
“We realised that we have a huge opportunity to improve our products and packaging, and to encourage other businesses to do the same.”
With this in mind P&G have joined forced with Domino Printing to develop a more universal alternative that will make personal care products much more accessible to anyone with impaired vision.
Kevin Higgs, Engineer at P&G said: ““We were invited to visit Domino’s specialist laser testing labs in Hamburg, initially to discuss the requirements for the project, and then again for a two-day working session to identify the best possible solution. Together, we chose the Herbal Essences bio:renew range of shampoo and conditioners as a trial product, which could be easily marked by Domino’s D-Series CO2 laser coders to create a differentiating tactile marker.”
Dr Stefan Stadler, Team Lead at the Laser Academy, led the task with Sumaira and her team trying to find the best approach. Their planning showed that the bottom of the bottle, where the plastic is thickest, would be the best location for coding as it would be easily identifiable without altering the integrity of the packaging.
Stadler said: “The chosen design features a row of raised lines on the bottom of the back of the shampoo bottles — “S” for shampoo, “S” for stripes — with two rows of raised dots in the same place on conditioner bottles — “C” for conditioner, “C” for circles.”
Bottle integrity was important for P&G; the bottle not only had to look good, but also perform effectively throughout its entire shelf life.
To approve the effectiveness of the new identifying coding on the bottles, P&G presented the new Herbal Essences bio:renew to the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the UK for testing which overwhelmingly approved of the new design. Based on this success, Herbal Essences rolled out this new concept across all its US range bio:renew shampoo and conditioner.
Long term, P&G hope to encourage manufactures to be more inclusive in their designs. Nitin Mistry, Global Account Manager at Domino said: “We are really passionate about helping our customers to produce products which enrich the lives of consumers, and which can be used and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their circumstances
“As such, we are thrilled to have worked with P&G on this project and would welcome discussion with any other organisations who are looking to design inclusivity into their product packaging.”