Recently I was questioning if visually impaired people get to experience unique typographical design, and how typography translates to braille. From my research I can identify at least two different areas that could be explored to bring some of the typographic excitement to braille that people with sight get to enjoy.
I call this braille font Constellation, because of the patterns it makes when text is written out. I’m sure a braille reader would be familiar with the basic shapes, and hopefully find some humor and delight in touching a group of stars that form a line of text. It would also be interesting to see if an increase or decrease the emboss on some words to act as light or bold faces.
This example reads “Star light, Star bright, First star I see tonight.”
This treatment takes things one step further and plays with slightly different sized letterforms for each line, adding color would be for the folks with sight, but using printing techniques like thermography, foils or varnishes would provide a tactile element of discovery for the braille reader.
The Second concept I wanted to explore was this braille font I call Pyramid. If one could argue that something like a star would be too complex of a shape, or the face of a beveled star too flat for a braille typeface. Then why not take the classic braille dot, and reshape it into a point using a pyramid? The area of contact with the fingertip would be well defined, yet it would still conform to the necessary grid to make the letterforms of the alphabet.
This example is from the Egyptian Book of the Dead and reads “Not a perfect soul, I am perfecting. Not a human being, I am a human becoming.”
I call this braille font Love and see that it could have many uses that go beyond Valentines day.
This example actually says “Love”, I think this could make a nice card for a person with or without sight, everyone can certainly get the message.
I also believe it is unlikely that the blind have an opportunity to enjoy body art like tattoos, but if we were to explore the idea of body modification for the blind a little deeper we find within the culture of body modification, scarification has become popular as well as very technical, and it is now possible for an experienced technician to re-create something like this example that says “Love the one you’re with”.
Here’s another example of a body modification using a rounded square ‘dot’ down the side of this model. It reads from top to bottom and says “Seeing is not always believing.”