Clear Rx - From Master's Thesis to Medicine Cabinet

Clear Rx: From Master's Thesis to Medicine Cabinet

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents "ClearRx: From Master's Thesis to Medicine Cabinet" - an exhibition that follows the three-year journey from Deborah Adler's initial concept to redesign the prescription bottle and label, to the partnership with Target and the launch of ClearRxSM in May of 2005. The exhibition, sponsored by Target, will give a comprehensive look at the design evolution of an object that takes on such a crucial role in our everyday lives. The exhibition will be on view from October 29 through November 23 at the Westside Gallery, 141 West 21st Street, New York City.

Adler first had the idea to redesign the standard amber-colored prescription bottle when her grandmother accidentally swallowed pills meant for Deborah's grandfather. Adler quickly came to the conclusion that the prescription bottle was not just unattractive - it was actually dangerous. Motivated by a desire to make people's lives easier and safer, in 2002 she designed a comprehensive system for packaging prescription medicine as her Master's thesis.

"I wanted to design the bottle so that when you open up your medicine cabinet, you instantly know which is your drug, what the name of the drug is, and how to take it," says Adler. The results are a redesigned prescription and communication system that includes: the redesigned bottle, easy-to-read label, removable information card, color-coded rings and redesigned warning icons.

The exhibition will be divided into three sections. The first section will identify the specific problems with the amber-colored bottles, and show the initial sketches and prototypes Adler developed. The second section will outline the collaboration with Target, illustrating the modifications that were made in partnership with Target designers and pharmacy experts.

The third section will display the final product, the advertising and awareness campaign that was launched by Target, as well as highlights of the media coverage received.

Deborah Adler is currently a senior designer at the multi-disciplinary design firm Milton Glaser Inc. in New York City, where she works directly with the legendary Milton Glaser. In her role, Adler provides solutions to clients seeking new directions in visual communications, signage programs and brand identity. Prior to joining Milton Glaser, Adler was a designer for the skincare line Kiehl's Since 1851, where she created product packaging, signage storefronts and in-store materials. Adler earned a BFA with honors from the University of Vermont in 1997 and an MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts in 2002.

The ClearRx system will be a part of the exhibition "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk," on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 16, 2005 through January 2, 2006. The exhibition will present more than 300 contemporary products and prototypes designed either to protect the body and mind, to respond to emergencies, to ensure clarity of information or provide a sense of comfort and security.

Photo: Deborah Adler

School of Visual Arts

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