Marketing and Laundry Labels

Laundry symbols with japanese

Have you ever taken a good look at clothing care labels?  A friend posted a funny version (a string of symbols, then the words, “or just ask your mom, she knows.” This got me thinking.

Those labels are broken

Apparently, all those symbols represent a full page of different clothing instructions – water temp, dryer settings, whether to use bleach (or not) and on and on.  The trouble is, that the symbols are not intuitive.  They make no sense unless you have a long ‘cheat sheet’ to crack the secret clothing care code.

I wonder how many garments have been ruined because buyers couldn’t figure out how to care for them. Those labels are there because the FTC requires them. Apparently, there was no requirement that they be understandable (though the FTC is seeking new comments).

Instead of those silly symbols nobody can understand, why not either a) get better symbols (get input from Apple’s designers) or b) write it out in words.

Have you had this experience?  Tried to talk to someone who was speaking in symbols instead of plain English?  Or have you done it yourself?