Braille Institute has partnered with New York-based design firm Applied Design to launch Atkinson Hyperlegible, a typeface for those who are visually impaired. Available on Google Fonts and in four weights – Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic – Atkinson hyper legible has been created specifically to increase legibility and comprehension for people with low vision. It’s also been named after Braille Institute’s founder, Robert J. Atkinson, a blind former cowboy from Southern California who went on to invent new Braille machines, a Braille library, community centres and build national awareness about blindness.
Blindness impacts one million adults over 40 in the US, but those with visual impairments is growing globally. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states how approximately 4.2 million Americans aged 40 and over have visual impairments, meaning that visual disability is within the top 10 disability of adults over 18 years. In the UK, the NHS states there are almost two million people living with sight loss, with 360,000 registered as blind or partially sighted.
Atkinson Hyperlegible has been designed to combat this and aims to address several issues that affects those reading and writing with low vision. Braille Institute has been working for 100 years to help people with vision loss and, “as aural and digital technologies continue to advance, Braille is becoming increasingly relevant,” writes the release. The result is a typeface that “breaks the traditional typographic approach of uniformity”, and instead “focuses on letterform distinction” to make the characters more legible. Along with the four weights, the font features the Adobe Latin 2 Character Set, with accent characters supporting over 25 languages and mathematical symbols.
The font has already been the recipient of Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards in the Graphic Design category, and is available to download for free online.