Help Remedies: Little Fury / Pearlfisher

Curator: Jesse Reed
date: November 14, 2011
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Packaging Design
Tags: help, medical, minimal, Packaging, remedies, system
Color-coded packaging system

Help Remedies  (a.k.a. help, I have a...) is a collection of simplified packages that contain a single active ingredient for a specific symptom. Each box is labeled with a differently colored ring and a casual description of your trouble in need. Originally designed by Esther Mum of Little Fury, the series has recently been updated by Pearlfisher.

The first time I came across these tiny white packages was at a Duane Reade in midtown Manhattan. I remember being under the impression that this was an attempt to emulate the store brand version of their name brand products, in a similar fashion to Target’s wonderfully designed Up & Up line. I soon learned that they had nothing to do with this specific convenient store chain, but in any case, I was sold. 

It’s a testament to their success when I can recall having a great desire to purchase all of the color-coded boxes in front of me. Did I have a runny nose? Had I cut myself? No, but I wanted to! The idea behind simplification is, I think, becoming more obvious to the average consumer. It looks healthier, cleaner, safer, etc., but this doesn’t always reflect the product(s) inside. 

I’m convinced that Deborah Adler’s redesign for (once again) Target’s pharmaceutical bottles had some sort of influence when executing this project (or at least their visual presence). There’s an attempt, and a success, to strip away the excess and capitalize on the primary component. Their language, both visually and literally, becomes purely informational with the slightest touch of humanity to make you smile.

Products in display situation

Aching body package

Blister package

Stuffy nose package

Various packages

Capsule display

Back panel highlighting the single active ingredient

Back of capsule sheet

Bandage packaging

I applaud Help on the parallel that they keep consistent through the design, material and contents of each package. The boxes are made of paper pulp that comes from 100% post-industrial waste, and the plastic rings are starch based, allowing them to biodegrade when in a composting environment. Any additives, dyes or coatings that typically go into other medications have been removed, and you’re left with one solution for your one problem. Bravo.
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