Young Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi has created a universal typeface that combines braille with existing Latin and Japanese characters. The typeface communicates to both sighted and blind people in the same space. Braille Neue consists of two typesets – Braille Neue Standard for English alphabet and Braille Neue Outline for Japanese and English. The designer expects that the typeface will be used for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2020 to create a truly universal space where anyone can access information.
Kosuke Takahashi: ‘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. By spreading this typeset I believe more people will get acquainted with braille. I 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 the 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.’
Braille Neue is not the first typeface that tries to combine the braille alphabet with existing characters. However, previous projects, such as Christopher Heller’s VisualBraille (it is available for download via this link), Larysa Kurak’s Braille Fonts, and Blind Words by Nuria López, corresponded only to Latin alphabet while Braille Neue also includes Japanese characters.