The Braille Institute of America is a 100 year old institution, founded by a blinded cowboy who went on to invent new Braille machines, a Braille library.
The Braille Institute of America is a 100 year old institution, founded by a blinded cowboy named J. Robert Atkinson in Southern California who went on to invent new Braille machines, a Braille library, build national awareness about blindness, plus create community centers across SoCal to train people with vision impairment to lead fuller lives. 100 years later, total blindness now only impacts about 10% of their constituents, with aural and digital technology advances making ”Braille” somewhat (but not completely) irrelevant. The key problem is growing visual impairment among aging baby boomers (with diseases like diabetes contributing to the challenge) who will not learn Braille, yet need supportive help & training to lead independent, productive lives. Applied was tasked with a rigorous research-based evaluation of the Braille Institute name and brand equity, developing a brand positioning that captures the vision and direction of the organization, and creating a new visual identity that connects with a diverse and expanding audience. The new positioning and identity serve as the platform for the organization to begin its next hundred years, as their constituents increase in kind and number and the world they live in changes rapidly.
The Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface that we developed as part of this program won the 2019 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award in the Graphic Design category.