This new packaging concept for cigarettes from recent UK design graduates Jennifer Noon and Sarah Shaw is in response to the British government's controversial proposal for plain packaging, which purports that bland and generic cigarette packages devoid of company logos or art would make health warnings more prominent (which is not to say that the right kind of labels wouldn't be just as effective...)
Noon and Shaw's design changes the shape of the container into something that sticks out of pockets and is hard to get cigarettes out of—reminiscent of this design from last year. While this is certainly a 180° turn on conventional human-centered design where usage is paramount, we think it is actually represents human-centered design at its finest, putting the user's best interests above their desires.
For the warning imagery we focused on aspects which would appeal to the users vanity, considering the primary market would be teenagers. We used more 'realistic' warning images such as yellowing fingernails and wrinkles, as our research revealed the majority of warnings were seen as being 'far fetched' and unbelievable.
Dave Seliger is a Postgrad Fellow in Logistics and Ext Affairs at the NYC Office of Emergency Management. He has extensive experience helping firefighters, police officers, and disaster responders improve their services through design.