470mm x 670mm Pine and acrylic light boxes & typeface design.
I've designed light boxes that deal with four of the five human senses, smell, taste, sound and sight. The fifth sense, touch, is expressed with messages that are written in a typeface I designed that can be read by both sighted and non-sighted people.
I worked closely with members from the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind to ensure that my typeface would work. The Braille dots in the typeface have been drilled out to allow the light to shine through. For someone blind this makes it easier to find and read as 90% of vision-impaired people can still see light. The kerning appears to be out in the type but is actually correct for the Braille. This is because a couple of the letters use a slightly larger grid in order for the typeface to work correctly.
The typeface is intended to provoke curiosity and encourage the sighted to reflect upon challenges faced by others. Most people don’t realise that one of the greatest struggles blind and vision-impaired people face is isolation. I wanted to investigate ways in which design can contribute to reduce this isolation, and make the world less daunting.
Braille is mainly used as an informative means of communication for the blind in public spaces and is often seen as a legal obligation. I see this as a missed opportunity, as Braille has quite an iconic presence as abstract visual and tactile decoration. My solution was to look at communicating to both sighted and non-sighted people in a public space.