Anyone who thought that they had seen it all with “Freshness Labels”, a food label that turned colour the older that food got, may want to think again. Now thanks to designer Ko Yang, we can see the difference between solids and liquids when it comes to milk. Any shop owners who have sour milk could in fact place it on the cheese shelf (although we don’t recommend it) and its far less riskier than taking a smell not knowing how bad it’s going to be.
This looks like a case of a good design that has turned sour. The whole concept was aimed at describing a cycle of nature, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but in this case it is all about milk that has turned to cheese.
This works by the packaging of the milk slowly changing from white to a yellowy orange when the milk is way out of date. In the photo you can see that the milk is fresh as the packaging is pure white. Over three photos the packaging is starting to take on the yellow/orange look at the bottom as the milk starts to date. Slowly it increases, until in the sixth photo you can see that the packaging is now half milk and half cheese. Finally the ninth photo shows that the milk is way past its expiry date and you wouldn’t want to try and drink it as the packaging is all yellow/orange and looks like cheese. Of course at this stage you would know it is off thanks to the smell that would be emanating from the container.
The title of the project by Ko Yang is “Expiry Date / The Things Far Away Beyond Numbers”, however we cannot see this taking off, the extra packaging costs won’t reduce the amount of product you waste, and for now, sell by dates are simple and functional.
In the case of “The Freshness of Labels”, another concept to show ageing of food, this time it was aimed at letting you know how fresh meat was in the packaging and made use of a label. Designer Naoki Hirota, said that mislabelled food can be an issue in some parts of the world, so he suggested temporal labels.
This a label that changes colour over time, as above. However in this instance, the bottom of the egg shaped label turns from white to blue over a period of time. When the label starts to change, it means that the perishable food, in this instance meat, is no longer fresh. Once the bottom half of the egg timer shaped label is completely blue, the meat should be discarded and it cannot be scanned and sold. The label has a layer of information about the food and a barcode for scanning and another but the magic here is in the special ink that’s printed that reacts with ammonia. This is safe, as the ink is made out of non-toxic pigments of purple cabbages.