Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Instant Inspiration: Clovernook Tour

After spending an afternoon at Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired the fire is back in my belly! The design process is much more meaningful and passionate when you can really empathize with the people you are designing for.

This is a work station for zinc plate punching. Clovernook prints more than 40Million pages of braille a year for a number of clients including the Library of Congress. I was surprised to find that Terry, the machine operator, was able to use a standard keyboard to input commands despite having no vision. He only needed a braille display (black box next to the monitor) to receive information.

Zinc plate being flipped for second pressing on back. The lines of braille are offset so that both sides can be punched without destroying text on the other side.

These two friendly fellows who's name I didn't catch were proofreading text before being printed for the public. Clovernook regularly receives publication before release to transcribe into braille. These two seemed to be having a good time!

Braille can increase the size of a publication dramatically. The above is a copy of the same picket publication in braille.

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