Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0142-5471
  • E-ISSN: 1569-979X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study examined three common Chinese typefaces to determine the optimal font and point size to increase the legibility of medicine labels for the elderly. Three tests were applied and the outcome shows different performance results for each one of the tests. Heiti performed better in the reading test, whereas Kaiti performed well in both the character recognition and the searching a phrase tests. Songti performed adequately in all of the tests. Kaiti’s resemblance to Chinese calligraphy significantly improved its performance. The findings indicate that increasing point size alone does not significantly improve legibility among the elderly.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Beckman, A.G.K. , Parker, M.G. , & Thorslund, M
    (2005) Canelderly people take their medicine?Patient ducation and Counselling, 59, 186–191. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.11.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2004.11.005 [Google Scholar]
  2. Beier, S
    (2012) Reading letters: Designing for legibility. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Cai, D . et al.
    (2001) The legibility threshold of Chinese charactersin three-type styles. International Journal of IndustrialErgonomics27, 9–17.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Carliner, Saul et al.
    eds. (2006) Information and document design. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. doi: 10.1075/ddcs.7
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ddcs.7 [Google Scholar]
  5. Census and Statistics Department [Google Scholar]
  6. Census and Statistics Department
  7. [Google Scholar]
  8. Department of Health, Hospital Authority and Social Welfare Department
    (2007) The residential care homes (elderly persons) ordinance: An operational manual on drug management. Retrieved fromwww.info.gov.hk/elderly/publications/drug/drug_manual.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Department of Justice
    (2016) Pharmacy and poisons regulations, Chapter 138A, P.19. Retrieved on25 January 2016, www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E32/98C7D1789BE0FD1482575EE0043A3C8/$FILE/CAP_138A_e_b5.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Dowse. R. , & Ehlers, M
    (2005) Medicine labels incorporating pictograms: Do they influence understanding and adherence?Patient Education and Counselling58, 63–70. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.06.012
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2004.06.012 [Google Scholar]
  11. Editorial
    (2008) Dying from drugs—at home, The Lancet372, 419.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Fisher, P. & Sless, D
    (1990) Information design methods and productivity in the insurance industry, Information Design Journal6(2), 103–129. doi: 10.1075/idj.6.2.01fis
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.6.2.01fis [Google Scholar]
  13. Frascara, J. , & Ruecker, S
    (2007) Medical communications and information design, Information Design Journal15(1), 44–63. doi: 10.1075/idj.15.1.07fra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.15.1.07fra [Google Scholar]
  14. Hong Kong Medical Association
    (2007) Good dispensing practice manual (2nd edition). Retrieved on25 January 2016www.hkma.org/download/others/Good%20Dispensing%202007.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  15. International Institute for Information Design
    (2016) Retrieved on25 January 2016, www.iiid.net/Information.aspx
  16. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
    (2014) Best practice guidance on labelling and packaging of medicines. London: MHRA. Retrieved on25 January 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/44366/Best_practice_guidance_labelling_and_packaging_of_medicines.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Rogers, D. , Shulman A. , Sless, D. , & Beach, R
    (1995) Designing better medicine labelling report to PHARM, Canberra: Communication Research Institute of Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Shulman, A. & Sless, D
    (1992) Product labelling regulation: Can it lead to good information design?Designing information for people. Canberra: Communication Research Press, 63–97.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Sless, D. , & Wiseman, R
    (1994) Writing about medicines for people: Usability guidelines and glossary for consumer product information. Canberra: Department of Health and Human Services.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Sless, D
    (2004) Designing public documents. Information Design Journal12(1), 24–35. doi: 10.1075/idjdd.12.1.04sle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idjdd.12.1.04sle [Google Scholar]
  21. Spencer, H
    (1983) Pioneers of modern typography. Revised edition. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Twyman, M
    (1979) ‘Schema for the study of graphic language’. In Kolers, Paul A . et al. , eds. Processing of visual language, volume 1. New York: Plenum Press, 117–150. doi: 10.1007/978‑1‑4684‑0994‑9_8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4684-0994-9_8 [Google Scholar]
  23. Van der Waarde, K
    (2006) Visual information about medicines for patients. Designing effective communications: creating contexts for clarity and meaning, New York, NY: Allworth Press, 38–50.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Walker, S. , & Barratt, M [Google Scholar]
  25. Webb, J. , Davis, T.C. , Bernadella, P. , Clayman, M.L. , Parker, R.M. , Adler, D. , & Wolf, M.S
    (2008) Patient-centered approach for improving prescription drug warning labels, Patient Education and Counselling72, 223449. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.05.019
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2008.05.019 [Google Scholar]
  26. World Health Organization
    (2007) Global age-friendly cities guide. Retrieved on25 January 2016. www.who.int/ageing/publications/Global_age_friendly_cities_Guide_English.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  27. . World Health Organization
    Ageing and life course. Retrieved on4 February 2011. www.who.int/ageing/en/
    [Google Scholar]
  28. 文湜
    . (15July 1997).〈五成長者有食錯藥問題〉《松柏之聲》Retrieved fromwww.thevoice.org.hk/v0239/025.htm
    [Google Scholar]
  29. 傳媒報導
    . (June 2008).〈大包小袋藥物易溝亂重複服用有危險〉 《松柏之聲》Retrieved fromwww.thevoice.org.hk/electrical/2008/200806/extrapage_jun2.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 明報專訊
    . (30December 2010).〈團體促統一藥袋標貼減長者食錯 藥風險〉《明報》Retrieved fromhk.news.yahoo.com/article/101229/4/lyyu.html
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Hong Kong; information design; medicine label; typography; usability; user-centred approach
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error