Double blind test series

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Braille is a communication tool in decline, in America by 80% since 1950, and in the UK to the extent that only 1% of blind people are now thought to read Braille.1, 2 There are a variety of causal factors, including the phasing out of Braille instruction due to the educational mainstreaming of blind children and the resistance to learning Braille by those who lose sight later in life.3
Braille is a writing system of raised dots that allows blind people to read and write tactilely. Each Braille character comprises a cell of six potentially raised dots, two dots across and three dots down. It is designed only to communicate the message and does not convey the tonality provided by visual fonts.However, in his book Design Meets Disability, Graham Pullin, observes that: “Braille is interesting and beautiful, as abstract visual and tactile decoration, intriguing and indecipherable to the nonreader ” and continues; “…braille could be decorative for sighted people.”4
I assert that the increasing abandonment of Braille frees it from its restrictive constraints, opening it to exploration and experimentation, and that this may result in Braille becoming dynamic expression for the sighted, as well as the partially sighted and blind.
Printmaking is well suited for this exploration. Printmaking processes and techniques can result in prints aesthetically compelling to both senses of sight and touch. Established approaches, such as flocking, varnishes, puff-ink, embossing and die cut, combined with experiments in new techniques in laser cutting and 3D printing, create visually and texturally vibrant prints.
In this paper I will detail my systematic investigation of sensually expressive printmaking concentrating on the issues surrounding Braille as a printmaking design element paying particular attention to the approaches and techniques used not only in producing its visual style but to those techniques used to keep it integrally tactile.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventImpact 8 International Printmaking Conference: Borders & Crossings: the artist as explorer - Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 20131 Sep 2013
Conference number: 8


ConferenceImpact 8 International Printmaking Conference
Abbreviated titleImpact
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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