Free Big Idea: Universal Snack Bag Opening Icons

This is only a big idea insofar as it affects a big number (like billions) of people, albeit in a tiny way. Still…

Have you ever tried to tear open a bag of chips or crisps or what-have-you and found yourself frustrated because the bag seems impenetrable? You tear and claw at it, but it refuses to yield up the salty, greasy treasures inside. We’ve all done it. We expect all snack bags to open the same way. After all, they all look similar—a sheet of cellophane-type material looped into a cylinder, with the top and bottom ends pressed together in seams.

Some bags can be opened by just pulling the top seam apart. But some bags, for whatever reason, are not meant to be opened that way. They are meant to be torn open, either from the top, down through the seam, or from the side, under the seam.

Let’s review:

The problem is, a bag made to be opened one way is often quite impossible to open any other way. And very few bags offer cues about how to open them. So we people—who are, after all, dumb animals—sit there clutching and yanking impotently, basically letting a $1.29 Big Grab of Cool Ranch Doritos make us its bitch.

So, the big idea is to have all snack bags include one of three little universal icons near the top seam. The icons would show two hands opening a bag in whichever of the three ways is appropriate for that particular package. I can’t draw to save my life, but how hard could this be? It ain’t the Sistine Chapel.

While you wait for someone to pick this baby up and run with it, here’s a word of advice: if you are trying to open a bag of chips and it ain’t working, try one of the other two ways. One of them will work quite easily.

No need to thank me. That’s what I’m here for.