Types for a hardcore non-prescription antidepressant

George Horton's picture

This is a natural antidepressant designed for effectiveness rather than minimal side-effects, to be sold in shops. I'm looking for a sans for packaging and a serif for an unusually full and friendly guide to usage, accompanying a titling sans that would ideally be the same as that for packaging, so the two need to pair well. The guide will include a course of boiled down cognitive/behavioural therapy and be more of a little book than an ordinary medication insert.

The packaging sans must be readable and recognisable from a distance, and of suitable character - whatever you think that should be: I'm interested in what you would want if you needed such a product. The serif should be inviting but authoritatively non-contemporary - certainly not in the least po-mo or cute - and surprisingly beautiful. Though it shouldn't be as rootedly and obviously historical as a Caslon, actual great age isn't a problem.

I'd be really grateful for ideas; I haven't, after much searching, found a good solution yet.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

This looks great, George. Congratulations on your design.

Sharon

William Berkson's picture

George, I actually preferred the symmetry of the first version you showed. It combines the calm and exuberance in a lovely way.

I just got an idea on how to preserve that and create symmetry in 'healer'. You could have the final R as well as the H in healer as a cap, the rest small caps, so 'mood' and 'healer' align. Then you could try putting a stroke across the leg of the R indicating the 'Rx' symbol. Maybe it will be too corny, but it might be worth a try.

George Horton's picture

Thanks all of you. I tried out your idea, William, but in the flesh it looked a bit confused. And using the Rx sign would have the FDA crush me in seconds.

timd's picture

I feel the 6 is a gnat’s high, it could be a screen issue. I much prefer the type without an outline and although in that version the cap H is a problem an answer could be to use small caps for HEALER.
I would also look at removing or reducing the weight of stroke on the circle. What kind of bottle or package does this appear on? I wonder if a circle is the best shape rather than, say, a horizontal ellipse, I see a circle working better on a package with an overall squarish appearance while an ellipse might work better on a taller package.

Tim

George Horton's picture

Would you prefer this (for a wide label on a bottle)?

timd's picture

Title-wise yes simpler and clear, I still find that black stroke overbearing though. Have you tried a mock-up on the bottle, it’s the best way to decide on the relative proportions of the elements.

Tim

George Horton's picture

Yes, I've mocked up a bottle, it looks fine. Do you like this, then? I think I prefer my second version, when slightly cleaned up.

Nick Shinn's picture

There are laws governing the promises that drugs and nutraceuticals may make, and it's doubtful that mood healing would pass muster.

In the US, DSHEA allows, without FDA authorization, the use of so-called "structurexfunction" claims, such as this for gingko biloba, which many people take for memory loss or to treat Alzheimer's disease: "Increases oxygen supply to the brain."

In other words, you can't claim that a nutraceutical treats any condition, real or manufactured, that requires a medical diagnosis.
And there is a difference between a passing sorrow (or joy) and clinical depression.

If you want this design to smack of reality, I would suggest a name change.

George Horton's picture

Hi Nick, I'm well versed in the regulations, and as you say, one's not allowed to claim to treat, cure or prevent any of the depressive disorders - major depression, dysthymia, psychotic depression, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar depression. Neither is one allowed to use the word "antidepressant" (though one major competitor does so illegally), and it'd be sensible to use the word "depression" only with an addition to the disclaimer pointing out that it can refer to a mood state as well as to a depressive disorder. "Mood" is not off-limits though, and "depressed mood" is exactly what one can claim to heal/remedy/soothe/any other word without formal medical significance. The medical definition of major depression, for instance, requires more than depressed mood alone: one can have "depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful)", and "markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day", and yet not qualify for DSM-IV major depression, because that diagnosis requires at least two further symptoms. Only 54% of those reporting both depressed mood and anhedonia actually qualify for the diagnosis of major depressive disorder. In casuistic theory, it's the 46% who miss out who ought to be taking Mood Healer. In reality, it will treat major depression, and, according to the research behind it, it should have no difficulty in matching or exceeding the 19% superiority of current first-line antidepressants to placebo.

The real problem with the name is that it's rubbish. Any suggestions for a better one that says as clearly what the tin does?

hrant's picture

Dude, "Healium".
For one thing, humor is the most potent anti-depressant.
And don't you want to "lift" their spirits?

hhp

George Horton's picture

For a long time humour was thought to be the most potent antidepressant; recently, though, it was found that the bitter suffering of one's enemies, with the placing of sensible limitations on the success of one's friends, was still more effective.

hrant's picture

OK then, "Schadenfreud Booster Pills". :-)

hhp

Syndicate content Syndicate content