Literacy in Design

Literacy in Design

What do literacy and design have in common? Well think typography and you will be headed in the right direction. But I think what you’re about to read will bring a deeper appreciation for a necessary literacy that is so often left in the dark…


This is the basic Braille alphabet. Notice the first 10 letters double as numbers; it’s all in how the cells are used. Braille is a code, brilliantly designed, yet sadly seldom taught to those with visual impairments thus resulting in unnecessary illiteracy.

I am bringing this to you because Braille literacy is something I believe in very strongly. For years I was a Special Education Assistant and had the privilege of working with a visually impaired child. I was fortunate to learn the Braille code, and this raised an awareness in me I would never have had otherwise.

And the gift my husband gave to me for my birthday a few days ago was in support of Braille literacy… beautifully crafted jewellery made by Leslie Ligon. Here’s what Leslie writes on her business card.

Can you believe the 10% statistic?

I love Leslie’s jewellery and the cause it supports, the message behind what it stands for.

These are the pieces I was given, and it makes me proud to know where a portion of the proceeds will go.

This is an expandable bracelet with the Braille alphabet on one side, and the corresponding letter of the print alphabet on the other. The letters you can see are c, d, e, f, g, h, i… Guess which side I’m wearing out?

And these are earrings with my initials in Braille…

And the regular letters on the back.

I love them.

As you can see, there is no limit in design. But there are unnecessary limits placed on individuals who are blind or visually impaired, which Leslie Ligon is taking a creative initiative to change.

If you would like to see more of Leslie’s creations…

Check out her website. I think you’ll be amazed at the beautiful options you’ll find. And did you know that Leslie won the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt 2010 People’s Choice Award?

It’s been a number of years now since I’ve actively read Braille, but I still have all my books. I want to know what the Braille on this card says, and it’s scribed using contractions and whole word cells. So I’ll have to pull my books for some help. And I’m so fortunate that I am able to do this.

I’m still in shock that as few as 10% of people who are blind or visually impaired learn to read Braille.

Let’s take typography to a new level of design, and bring in Braille too.

Here’s a great example of Braille in décor by Canadian artist Jessica Lertvilai. This vase is covered in love letters in Braille and is titled ‘Love is Blind’.


I think it’s a stunning piece. I would love to have this in my home. How about you?

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

Links to more images of Braille in design:

Wallpaper – Chair vignette

Wallpaper – Vase vignette

Wallpaper – Table & Chair setting

Study Nook


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