Accessibility April 4, 2018
Braille Neue – A typeface that merges Braille one can touch with letters that can be seen
For a sighted person, Braille looks like a language in code. As a result, braille is an add-on for some situations, and not a standard that a blind person can expect to see next to visual text.
Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi wanted to see if Braille might be something that sighted people could learn to read with their eyes rather than their hands. He tried many experiments that finally led to Braille Neue.
Braille Neue is a typeface that is legible to a sighted person, but it skeleton is based upon the bumps of Braille. As a result, it can be seen with the eyes or the hands. It’s a font for anyone.
To design the typeface, Takahashi began with the braille grid itself. He tried drawing Japanese characters by connecting the dots, but he could not move the braille dots, as that would destroy the the legibility of braille.
Takahashi had to be more creative with the letterforms themselves. The final result, he hopes, will bring in a more inclusive era for graphics in public spaces. He hopes to implement Braille Neue somewhere at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
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