Printing Geniuses

There've been some threads wandering around the Wreck lately about the finer points of printing.
Well, I'd like to ask some questions of the printing intelligentsia that have been bothering me for some time.
When I was in college, I was on the student newspaper and we ran our columns in 8 point by 11 and a half. That was the standard and we didn't question it, we just did it.
It seemed a reasonable enough size to run things at and no one ever complained, to my knowledge.
I'd personally be happy to read things at that size any day.
Why is it then that, when I have the flu and am least able to tolerate directions on my medicine that are less than what I would call standard size, that they are written in what I would guess to be 4 point type and in a sans-serif font that would drive the healthiest eye crazy?
Is this a conspiracy of the young and healthy against the old and infirm? Do they package medicines intentionally with instructions written so small as to be indecipherable by anyone who is not a sharpshooter?
And, while I'm on this, does the tamper-proof packaging have to also be human-proof. Is the packaging created by twenty-something year-olds who have no clue as to what it means to be both visually and coordinationally impaired while under duress.
I've tried my best to rip open packaging that was, allegedly, intended to be friendly - only to find that I must get sharper objects than I am capable of dealing with - when ill - in order to break into the packaging.
It's fuggin' ageism and I don't think they should let packaging engineers who are under fifty work on any of this stuff.
That's it. I'm going to bed now.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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brought forth from the murky depths:

With or without soy ink?
-snip-

(Yeah, boys and girls. He says that now that he has trifocals.)

It wouldn't even be that large if the speaking weasels hadn't made them put it on the box in the first place.

Yes. Any more questions?

Keep a pair of scissors in every room. They're handy for opening those damnable packages. DAMHIKT

BTW, good work on the Nowrecki post.
Two corrections: _They_ didn't excoriate the dufus, _we_ did. "cord" is spelled "chord", even for The Defecators "music".
I found that the old cord (non musical, see?) from my old shaver worked fine on the Technics turntable so I was able to listen to Nick Danger the other night. Next out of the old vinyl box is "A Child's Garden of Grass", one I haven't heard in at least 25 years.
Carry on.
P.S: What number's on that Klownhammah?
------------------------------------------------------ No matter how hard you try, you cannot baptize a cat. ---------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development ---------------------------------------------------
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Larry Jaques writes:

But if the scissors are new and packaged, keep a sharp knife in every room so you can open the scissors.
Charlie Self "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Hell, I can't get the safety shrink-wrap from around the cap off without cutting myself under the fingernails....

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That's why I keep my rigging knife on an 'arms length' lanyard . . . and on the bedroom bureau when not in my pocket. Handy little thing - all SS, a 4 in blade, 'de-shackler', and a marlin spike. {Yes, I know . . . not a *real* spike}
Regards, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
SNIP

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Ron Magen wrote:

My Swiss Army knife went everywhere with me for 15 years -- before 9/11. "Everywhere" includes international airline travel to Europe and the Middle East. Can't carry it anymore. :-( Last week I was 1000 miles from home in a hotel room with something I needed to open and no tools. :-(
-- Mark
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Put it in _checked_ baggage, if you do that. Such tools are allowed there. (that's how a travel with my Leatherman. :)
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I didn't mention this in the original post, but in many airports the difference between checked and unchecked luggage is measured in hours. Besides that, many things never make it through at all.
Besides the U.S.A., I've been to Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Yemen, Spain, Germany, El Salvador, Cuba and Jamaica. If you want to ENSURE your luggage makes it to the destination, carry it with you.
Knives can no longer make that certainty trip. :-(
-- Mark
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In days of yore, I smoked a pipe. When I got tired of losing pipe tools at $2 a pop, I discovered the joys of the 16d smooth box pipe tool, sold by the pound. I rapidly discovered a multitude of uses for this little jewel: blade (head) and phillips (pointy end) screw drivers, slicer (pointy end again), tamper, gouger, prier, and binking tool. Now that I have given up all the joyful vices of life, save one, I still carry one.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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so, jo4n.....
which one did you keep?
; ^ )
    Bridger
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Bridger wrote:

Siiiiiiggghhh. Wooddorking. Pathetic ain't it.     j4
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Dear Tom,

Isn't that what a bandsaw is for?
David.
P.S. I hope you are feeling better...
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My friend (has arthritis in his hands) found the cure for those child-proof, plastic pill bottles that an adult can't open... Laid it flat on the chopping board and whacked the top off with a meat cleaver.... Works every time ! (works best on those that have the cotton stuffed in them he said - picking up the scattered pills is a PIA)
Bob S.
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Years ago, I learned how to open those child-proof caps that even adults have difficulty opening: as a kid to open them! Nothing keeps those little fingers from getting into everything.

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i have been running printing presses for 21 years and the answer is this. The lawyers make the manufacturers of the drugs put so much information into every package of medication to cover there asses against lawsuits that if the type were any bigger the size of the package would be to large. when printing these things it is my job to proof read them there is not much information that normal people could understand anyway.
ever wonder how they fold them so many times???
jimmy mix ink with sawdust and I cant see my hands anymore.

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Assuming you mean "8 pt type, on 11-1/2 pt leading", that's _high_ for the inter-line spacing. 1-1/2 to 2 pts is more typical. And book work is typically done with 1 pt leading -- e.g. "8 on 9".

8 pt type is fairly small. For those who remember typewriters, standard typewriter font is 12pt (pica), or "10 on 12" (elite).
8 pt type is fairly small. For those who remember typewriters, standard typewriter font is 12pt (pica), or "10 on 12" (elite).

Note: probably 6 pt. that's the "legal minimum" for contract 'fine print', and many other things.
As for the "why" on medications -- it boils down to the _amount_ of information that they are *legally* required to include, and the limits of the space to do it in (imposed by the size of the packaging)>

Sure seems that way, doesn't it? <wry grin>

My pharmacy will package any prescription meds in 'non-child-proof' packaging on request. Which I _always_ request. :)
For OTC stuff, I always repackage it, myself, immediately after purchase.

There *are* days when dynamite seems attractive.
FIRST to use on the package, _then_ on the package *designer*!
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wrote:

............... or do you mean 8 point type by 11 1/2 pica wide, a common newspaper column width? I have a pica ruler on my desk at the moment. You have to be specific on what you are talking about, printing works on ancient measurements, although a lot are dropping off the wayside as the traditional methods are replaced by automated methods.

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Tom Watson wrote:

Sans-serif is just the way things are done now.
I would guess that if fonts on medication are smaller than they used to be, it's for two reasons. First up, there's a lot of pressure on everyone to make packaging smaller. Smaller boxes, smaller bottles, and consequently, smaller type. Second, there's a lot more stuff to print on these things than there used to be. For example, the warning on the can of "Oven-Roasted Peanuts" that declares "WARNING: THIS PRODUCT WAS PROCESSED ON EQUIPMENT THAT PROCESSES PEANUTS AND OTHER TREE NUTS."
Well, for one thing, peanuts were processed in a factory that processes peanuts. No shit, Sherlock. For another, "other tree nuts." What do you mean "other" tree nuts? Peanuts are legumes. They don't grow on trees.

Is that what the future holds for me? Being a 30-something, I'm tempted to tell you to put your damn glasses on. I can read that stuff just fine with my glasses on. OTOH, I find myself doing the arm-extension focus thing more and more, and can see bifocals in my future. It's a pity that the body starts going all to hell at an age when I'm not even entitled to bitch about getting older yet.
We live to be 100 maybe, but everything after 25 is a process of slow decay. My wrists have started bothering me. I have a ganglion cyst on my left wrist that's showing no signs of going away on its own, so I guess I have to fork over some real money to get rid of it, or live with it. I have a knot in my left pinky finger that constantly bothers me when I'm at the lathe, or running a hand plane. My uncle says it's probably a lump on one of my tendons. Says I get to look forward to having that in all my fingers in both hands sooner or later, so I should get used to it.
My right knee screams at me almost constantly. My right hip cracks and pops and just doesn't feel normal. My neck is too tight, and sounds like a box of Rice Crispies (boy, what a gay name that is...) when I rotate my head. My right shoulder hurts a lot. My pubic hair, including my beard, is turning snow white already, and I've only had hair on my balls for a little more than fifteen years as it is. It just got here in geological terms, and it's already falling apart. My widow's peak is a thing of the past, and my forehead gets a little bigger every time I really look at myself in the mirror. I have crow's feet already, and the wrinkles in my forehead don't smooth out the way they used to.
I have to watch what I eat so I don't get gas. I have digestion problems, acid reflux problems. If I forget to take my antacid before bed I wind up with an esophagus full of stomach juice by morning. I have to sleep with my head elevated. I can't sleep on my sides or my stomach anymore because my arms fall asleep. I've had a perpetual sinus infection for 10 years, and I can't smell anything except shit and skunks.
Oh well, at least I can read the fine print on medicine bottles, so I guess I have nothing to complain about.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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I was reading the instructions that came with some eye medicine. It stated that the results of using the medicine could be anything from doing nothing to causing blindness. That should cover just about any outcome...
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