Microscopic Printing on Aldrich Chemical Labels
OK. I’m going to have to be the bad guy and take Aldrich (SAFC) to task on their labeling. I recently received a 100 mL bottle of 10.0 M BuLi in hexanes. As I looked around for the concentration, I found it written in tiny print away from the name and part number which were written in larger print. I have placed a ruler next to the label in the photo below to show the size of the print. It is the same size as the date on a penny.
Labels do not “just happen”. Someone has to design a label. This involves arranging content on a limited space while meeting internal and external requirments for safety statements and other content. Labels do not fall from the sky in great sticky sheafs. Someone prints them. And that someone assigns font sizes and space for the information. So, someone has caused the font size to be tiny irrespective of the print content. I have numerous bottles with microscopic printing and vast expanses of white space. This smells of automation.
I’ll wager that there is an automated label generator that takes product label data and prints it onto the label irrespective of the actual need for microscopic font size. I can envisage a giant warehouse with automated shelf pickers whizzing about pulling bottles off the milti-tiered stacks and placing them into plastic tubs which course their way to shipping. Elsewhere in this voluminous interior is a widget that prints the labels and sticks them onto the bottle after they are filled. Somewhere a human is pushing a broom.
C’mon Aldrich! Make your labels more legible. Good gravy. What would Bader say? I’m sure your accounting office has no trouble reading the print on the checks that arrive to pay for these products. Consider that you’ve been put on notice.