Braille & Type
A new typeface, by Kosuke Takahashi, has been announced. And, it is a stroke of genius (pun intended). It combines Braille & Type.
Currently, we rarely see braille implemented in the public space since it takes additional space and sighted people consider it not important. Braille Neue addresses this issue by making braille easy to use for sighted people. Braille Neue is a universal typeface that combines braille with existing characters. This typeface communicates to both the sighted and blind people in the same space.
With Braille Neue, it is also possible to overwrite existing signage in public space by adjusting the kerning. It is easy to implement into the existing infrastructure and is a stepping stone for sustainable and inclusive future.
Kosuke Takahashi, the typeface creator, also conducted a research to see if large signage with braille was readable for blind people. Through the research, I found out that as long as there is 6 dotted pattern, it is possible for them to read it regardless of its size. Braille tends to be small and invisible, but with Braille Neue, it has the possibility to expand spatially into public signages in new ways.
In Latin alphabets, attempts to combine braille with existing characters have been made by various designers all over the world. In this project, Kosuke Takahashi designed a typeset that correspond not only to Latin alphabets but also to Japanese fonts. Through the contribution of increasing the variation of typeface that combines braille with existing characters and thinking about its implementations. According to their site, they aim for an inclusive society where using braille becomes commonplace.
Some past examples of combinations of Braille and a visual font are –
- Visual Braille TTF (2009) – Christopher Heller
- Braille Fonts (2014) – Larysa Kurak
- Blind Words (2015) – Nuria Lopez
In many ways – inclusivity has kind of been sidelined for the rush towards a technically complete utopia. Current technology has left a lot of people on the other side of the wall when it comes to design.
An example of this could be dyslexia and the internet. A topic I hope to blog about in the future. In the meantime, Barille Neue can be followed on Twitter HERE.
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