Visual impairment

— a decreased ability to see.

A girl with visual impairment and her mom walking down the street. The girl uses a white cane

In 1931 in France, Guilly d'Herbemont launched a national white stick movement for blind people. The "white cane" symbol is great for the direct visual recognition. However, transforming the real world object into the international graphic symbol of visual impairment has some issues.

Just as the cane itself, the symbol has to be long and work only with the certain color scheme. Going small, the symbol can be easily mistook as a sign for old people, for Nordic walking, etc. The bottom part of the cane, used as the conceptual symbol, is less recognizable and reminds more of a microphone.

Fortunately, there are other symbols. But only the Braille alphabet is used as widely as white canes.

A hand scanning through a page with Braille alphabet

The main idea is to use Braille alphabet's dots as the visual language recognizable by both visually impaired and not visually impaired people. Of course, there is no expectation for people with clear vision to know the Braille alphabet, yet they should understand what the actual symbol stands for.

While the actual embossed dots are to be used to communicate to visually impaired people, volume can be followed by color. In case there is no need to add the actual volume, the latter is to be simulated by colors and forms.

The actual design of the "simulated dot" also stands for "blind smiley face" and eyeglasses' lenses.

Simulated dots visualized

The logotype features "v" and "i". That's the situation where the actual Braille alphabet can be followed by color to create the conceptual image.

The logo of the movement

The modification of the main symbol can be used to create a navigation system. In this concept, the virtual label is to be recognized by Google Assistant to help visually impaired people to allocate visual impairment friendly places.

Labels on Google Maps

The outdoor sign can be engraved or printed with plastic based paint, although the outdoor signs are not to be used as a primary navigation system for visually impaired because of the need to find them first and to touch dirty surfaces. It's better to rely on personalized devices and human help.

The outdoor sign

The round road sign is to be used to help drivers allocate visual impairment friendly intersections and zones. This concept of the sign requires people to know its meaning before the actual contact. However, it can be used as a stand-alone sign for covering whole city districts, roads and yards.

The round road sign

The rectangular road sign has more obvious meaning and should be used as an additional sign for small areas of coverage, such as road crossings. It also can be recognized by regular citizens who may help visually impaired people to allocate safe areas.

The rectangular road sign

Visual impairment, identity