TORONTO – During National AccessAbility Week (May 31-June 6), the CNIB Foundation, Canada’s largest non-profit supporting people who are blind or partially sighted, is proud to launch the organization's tactile branding project, a new aspect of the brand that’s not designed to be seen.
"It makes perfect sense for the CNIB Foundation to have a tactile brand; I think it’s an original idea," says Christine Malec, Participant, CNIB Foundation.
The tactile brand was a part of a collaboration between members of the community with sight loss and Zerotrillion, a global creative agency, with the idea of making the brand itself more inclusive. Together, they explored what the CNIB Foundation represents – empowerment, inclusiveness, innovation, passion, collaboration, and integrity – and created a brand that tells a story that you can feel, touch and engage with.
“Inclusive design is as much about the process as it is the product,” said Adam Fierman, Creative Director, Zerotrillion. “This branding wasn’t created for the CNIB Foundation; it was created by members of the community it serves – Canadians impacted by blindness. Their diverse stories and experiences drove the design and led to a result that is personal and deeply meaningful. We are so proud to have participated in this process and we are truly touched by how much it means to the CNIB Foundation and to everyone who feels the brand.”
The timing of this launch is intentional. In a world moving very quickly towards ‘contactless’ everything, the CNIB Foundation believes this is the right time to ensure the world does not forget the importance of inclusive design and that some members of the community must still navigate the world through touch.
“There are already far too many examples of the challenges that many ‘contactless’ measures have had on people who are blind or partially sighted," said Suzanne Decary-van den Broek, Executive Director, CNIB Foundation Ontario South (GTA). "For example, grocery stores and pharmacies have printed signs and floor stickers to help ensure physical distancing measures are met. These measures are inaccessible for someone with sight loss and, in fact, have placed many people in dangerous and degrading situations."
As we move to a more contactless way of living, society could inadvertently rebuild barriers the CNIB Foundation and the people it serves have spent more than 100 years tearing down. Now is the time to ensure Canadians are aware of the importance of the tactile experience for their neighbours, family members and colleagues who are blind or partially sighted.
The concept became reality at the CNIB Toronto Community Hub, which was designed to be a welcoming, fully accessible, inclusive space for participants to access innovative programs (e.g. career support, tech training, book clubs, youth groups) in a community setting.
“The tactile branding project is unique because it embraces the concept of creating "with", not "for" – something that is often lacking in the design process, especially when it comes to people with sight loss,” said Decary-van den Broek. “When Zerotrillion approached us with the concept of a tactile brand, we jumped at the opportunity to get involved and knew the CNIB Toronto Community Hub was the perfect place to bring this idea to life.”
"During the consultation process, it was so interesting to hear what the CNIB Foundation means to range of different participants," says Malec. "I liked the process of going back and forth with the creative team as we tried to express our experiences and translate them into something we could touch."
While this is an example of incorporating touch into a brand, it's important an aspect of inclusive design.
To learn more about the CNIB Foundation’s tactile branding project, visit https://youtu.be/MKq6s7JjaL4
About the CNIB Foundation
The CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. To learn more or get involved, visit cnib.ca.
Zerotrillion is an independent global creative agency based in Amsterdam and Toronto helping our clients overcome their growth-limiting challenges with moonshot creative business ideas.
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
CNIB: Alison Byczok, Director, Marketing and Communications
416-272-0464 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Zerotrillion: Alex Paquin, CEO
416-816-8609 | email@example.com