Accessible Grocery Food Packaging for people with Vision Impairments

Alija Sule

Hello, I am Alija Sule, a Vancouver based Communication Designer with a focus on branding, packaging and digital marketing. I am originally from Mumbai, India

My thesis investigates how information on Canadian food packaging can be made accessible to people with vision impairments. Accessible packaging will allow them to shop for groceries independently, make informed purchase decisions, and use the products more efficiently.

This thesis uses two approaches. One was to redesign existing food labels to make them accessible to people with mild or moderate vision impairment through the appropriate use of typography, color, images, illustrations, and patterns. The second approach focuses on the addition of Braille and a text to speech feature to meet the needs of people with a severe vision impairment or blindness. Along with accessibility, the aesthetic appeal of the packaging has been a critical consideration throughout the research.

Communication design based studio explorations form the core of this thesis. Other methods such as observation, precedent review, personal reflection, case studies, literature review, and interviews with visually impaired participants, experts, and design professionals drive the explorations. The final outcome of the research is a prototype of a sample accessible grocery food brand with a variety of products. Considerations and challenges that shaped the prototypes are also discussed. The research provides a resource for designers and businesses within and outside Canada interested in working within the field of accessible grocery food packaging.

You can view the entire thesis here.