September 1, 2002
This is what the designer Tibor Kalman devised to make smoking unpopular.
Tibor Kalman is a designer who wanted to change the world – to clean and improve it. And he chose his profession – design – as the means of gaining his aim. He made the powerful helper of the market work for society. He made us change our attitude to pollution, racism, social injustice and other vices of society. See the filing of the “Color” magazine.
Inter alia, he was worried by the problem of smoking, especially among young people. It was clear that cautionary advices and frightening had not yielded apparent results. So he decided to eradicate the cause instead of fighting against the consequences.
Why do teen-agers start smoking? Smoking is cool according to the stylish promotional campaigns of tobacco manufacturers. Tobacco companies force an attractive image of a young man on teen-agers and cigarettes of a certain sort serve as one of the symbols of being such a man. A pack of cigarette with easy-to-recognize design is a kind of a symbol that is demonstrative of his style of life, a fashionable accessory.
How can we fight against smoking? It is necessary to make smoking unfashionable, unstylish. If a pack of cigarettes is not more attractive than a pack of aspirin, it will not serve as a modish symbol. Kalman proposed to make the design of cigarette packs nondescript grey. Such a pack is faceless and dull, and it is unimportant whether it is Marlborough, Camel or some other stylish brand.
It happened in 1997. As that moment, it seemed that it would take much time for the idea to be realized, if at all. But what a pleasant surprise! American authorities have recently demanded from cigarette manufacturers that cigarette packs be only in black and white colors.
Thus, the harmful factor –
worsening the cigarette pack attractiveness –
was used for the benefit of man's health (inventive principle “blessing in disguise”).
Information from: http://www.adbusters.org.