gle.ovo.

Transparency

I caught this revealing error on the always entertaining
Photoshop Disasters and thought it was too good to resist pointing
out here:


Bag of Jasmin Rice

The picture, of course, is a bag of Tao brand jasmine rice for sale in
Germany. The error is pretty obvious if you understand a little German:
the phrase transparentes sichtfeld literally means transparent field
of view
. In this case, the phrase is a note written by the
graphic designer of the rice bag’s packaging that was never meant to be
read by a consumer. The phrase is supposed to indicate to someone
involved in the bag’s manufacture than the pink background on which the
text is written is supposed to remain unprinted (i.e., as transparent
plastic) so that customers get a view directly onto the rice inside the
bag.

The error, of course, is that the the pink background and the text was
never removed. This was possible, in part, because the the pink
background doesn’t look horribly out of place on the bag. A more
important factor, however, is the fact that the person printing the bag
and bagging the rice almost certainly didn’t speak German.

In this sense, this bears a lot of similarity with some errors I’ve
written up before — e.g., the Welsh autoresponder and the
Translate server error restaurant. And as in those cases,
there are takeaways here about all the things we take for granted when
communicating using technology — things we often don’t realize until
language barriers make errors like this thrust hidden processes into
view.

This error revealed a bit of the processes through which these bags of
rice are produced and a little bit about the people and the division of
labor that helped bring it to us. Ironically, this error is revealing
precisely through the way that the bag fails to reveal its contents.



Comments are closed.