@burkeybelser @WSJ Please read before you buy and eat

December 13, 2011

Interesting news bit from this morning’s paper: “A simulated grocery-shopping experiment found that consumers have a limited attention span for nutrition labels on food packaging, and that they read the labels far less frequently than they say they do, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Research.” Being better informed could influence consumers to make smarter food choices. The Nutrition Facts are part of our nation’s visual literacy.

The graphic display of the nutritional information is a brilliant piece of information graphic design. Spend some time with it and you’ll notice how the layout facilitates the speed of reading information. Consider how a graph or a table would simply be wrong. According to Wikipedia (and I’ll give it the benefit of my belief): “The label was mandated for most food products under the provisions of the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), per the recommendations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Did you know that a graphic designer was responsible for creating this nearly universally accepted standard of food packaging? This morning our attention goes to Burkey Belser, www.greenfieldbelser.com, and his work in services marketing. (Again Wikipedia chirps in: “President Bill Clinton issued an award of design excellence for the nutrition facts label in 1997 to Burkey Belser in Washington, DC.”) Thank you for some great design! Salut!



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