Design Is Dangerous, You Might Be Drinking It

Warning: Alcoholic Energy Drinks

                                                                                   (google images)

          The current controversy around Alcoholic energy drinks has been the cause of heart attacks, hospitalizations, and drunk teens to accidently kill themselves have all occurred because of these energy drinks’ faulty informational design. 
          At Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J., the administration has banned the drink after the hospitalization of six students who drank multiple cans, according to the Associated Press. It seems for students that the opposites within the drink, caffeine and alcohol, attract and cause some serious consequences.
Brands like Joose, Four Loko, Tilt, Sparks, Max...

          What the drink is designed to do to the consumer is guided at your own risk, just like any responsibility when drinking other alcohol. However, when these alcoholic cans closely resemble any other energy drinks on the shelf, 
                                                          (google images)

at what point do you draw the line? With its bright and colorful image, these drinks are intentionally designed and marketed to inexperienced under aged drinkers.  It is then, that Design can be dangerous. It is dangerous because many people aren’t aware that these drinks are alcoholic. What makes it dangerous is not the 12% alcohol within each can. The human body’s natural reaction to alcohol is to get drowsy, which serves as protection from alcohol poisoning. The danger of these drinks is the caffeine, which allows the imbiber to stake awake and consume more alcohol than they would normally be able to. Its this lethal combination of ingredients that gets you intoxicated, but you feel like you’re okay, …unaware of the potential danger. While it is up to the drinker to be responsible and in good judgment, it is the drinks’ companies that should have a social responsibility to warn of the dangers if consumed. While they intentionally market their product in such a way that’s visually appealing, isn’t it ethical to include the facts within the visual design on the can? If companies don’t start changing their dangerous designs to inform, society will stay unaware and clueless if such dangerous designs go unnoticed. 
Think. Design. Inform.