I recently did some work for the RSA in London. We organised and ran a workshop about design, in the workshop Dean and Carlie found this take away box and started talking about the design of it. The great thing was that we soon realised that although not a beautiful piece of design necessarily, it had many design elements to it and was very rich in terms of information and communication. Here are some of the observations we made about it. The word ‘Chicken’ is the most noticeable thing about the design, apart from the red and yellow colours which are themselves important as they remind us of flames and something being cooked. If you still are not convinced by chicken alone, the packaging reassures us that it is tender and tasty. There is a bit of rhyme underneath the work chicken and because the letter G is missing, it makes us Brits read it with an American accent, there are also some stars around the edge of the box which add a further connection to the US. This connection is mythical as the chickens were probably bred in Eastern Europe and might not have involved any form of American recipe in their preparation. Moving on to the graphics of the people, they all look very happy, sociable and excited, they are jumping and look like they are healthy and full of energy, like at a party. There are some contradictions here, first of all this kind of fast food is generally not considered to be healthy due to high saturated fat content and although there may be a reasonable protein content in the meat, this might not also be associated to high energy levels. Next up, eating these kind of take always make me feel anything but happy and excited, such meals are an emergency situation when there is really NOTHING else to be eaten. The process of eating chicken from a box like this can feel depressing and lonely as you peer into the thin cardboard box on your knee. Functionally however, the cardboard provides just the right size for a portion of a meal for an average adult, so that’s good and honest. the paper seems hygienic I suppose and perhaps even the absorbancy of the thin card soaks up some of the fat. Just one more thing about the people, in my mind they represent flames, they are flame coloured and they are touching the word chicken as a metaphor for cooking it.