That seems very unkorean to me. Everywhere in the world nationalists are complaining about the use of foreign language in advertisement. Why is the state allowing it in NK?
Here's one of my favorites, Jaka goes to buy a flashlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeBtSnFeA18
I also wonder how many North Korean's know English and what they think about the English being on the labels.
Muji is a successful Japanese brandless shop where I get my clothes. We have generics drugs that are less expensive. I think a brandless Walmart would be successful too, for those who refuse to be brainwashed.
I stayed in Yanggakdo International Hotel on Yanggak Island in the river Taedong in Pyongyang on a tour, and there were two restaurants, and they were called "Restaurant 1" and "Restaurant 2". I found that quite refreshing.
This is one of the appeals of Marks & Spencer, who are one of the last survivors of the old British department stores. They sell clothes and food, all almost entirely their own-brand products, which are not cheap but are good quality. You can go into an M&S and buy essentials just by collecting the things on your list, without ever having to choose between brands.
There were actually a few no-brand brands from supermarket chains like this that I can recall.
Here is the label of the tin I ate yesterday for example:
no product name, just the composition of it.
Even the color are meant to associate to the composition (green -> little peas, pink/red -> bacon, white -> onions, orange -> carrots).
And a realistic photo of what to expect.
In Sweden (etc, I suppose) we have Euroshopper which is as minimal as it gets. It's instantly recognisable in each isle.
Still not as utilitarian as the Dharma Initiative food packaging in the TV show Lost, though:
Very common in the United States as stores don't license the brand names and so have to come up with a non-trademarked name.
Is this something that is happening? Is it becoming standard to use lower resolutions for some reason?
Some packagins from communist Poland:
Compare the North Korean peas to a modern American label
This morning there was a question on /r/AskHistorians:
"How did the writers of the Declaration of Independence write in such straight lines on line-less paper?"
Someone with my political inclinations might reply, "How can you even ask such a question? Sure, the signers of the Declaration had good intentions, but you know what road is paved with those: look where it got us! [Insert my list of the terrible things the United States Government has done not only to the rest of the world but to its own citizens.] And you're asking whether the lines were straight?"
But can't a question be interesting all on its own? How the heck did they get those lines so straight? And was every document in those days like that? (Read the thread to find out.)
At the height of the Cold War, I was into ham radio, and I had friends in the Soviet Union who I would have Morse code QSOs (chats) with. It being ham radio, we couldn't talk freely about everything, but at least we could compare notes on our radio gear, find out the weather, and ask how the family is doing. It wasn't perfect, but it was something. And I always signed off with:
_ _ . . . _ .
To understand something, you have to observe it. To really understand something you have to observe it in minute detail and ideally experience it.
Anyway, this is a small piece of research that provides us with a small detail about a culture that we, as outsiders, have little real contact with. Make no mistake that the vast majority of Norks are people that are just like you and me, except that most of them live way below a "bread line" that you or I would find intolerable.
Why not take the opportunity presented to discover a bit more about something that you know little about, instead of deriding 25 million people for being who they are or living where they do.
Call me squarehead but I refuse to "experience" life in North Korea, not even close to this.
Also, I think if I were ordinary North Korean experiencing all the atrocities of the regime I would be really bothered by this act of "observation"; it feels quite a bit like being an animal in the zoo cage being stared at by the bored public.
Does that fit with your observations?
Let's totally discuss that in depth for a while, then get back to your TV/talk-radio politics, and then finally we can talk about graphic design if there's time.
How many people are likely to be unaware of this fact?
The human rights abuses are what is truly shocking but again some of the things that go on in China, USA, Phillipines, Israel/Palestine for example are also truly shocking.