Tactile maps in the dis- & trans-abled communities are valuable tools. Rather than just cold, one to two words descriptors punched out in Braille, the visually impaired can use tactile maps to draw a picture of the environment they struggle to see.
For the visually impaired, seeing is done through description. Even if blind from birth, they have formed their own internal sense of what “Green” looks like and what a sunset looks like. Visually impaired form these imagined images through descriptions and physical touch. For strange environments, tactile maps make a world of difference in how easily that image forms and how safe your space feels.
However tactile maps impact more than the visually impaired. Even those with perfect vision can form a new perception of the space around them by incorporating all their senses. Industry professionals recommend involving all five senses to help customers remember your brand, space & product. In an article for American Express’ Open Forum, Vladimir Gendelman, founder & CEO of Printwand, Inc says this about touch.
Marketing materials with custom die cuts will feel different from traditional media, meaning recipients are less likely to dispose of them because they feel unique. Special options like embossing and textured coatings are like magnets for the hands—people can’t help but want to reach out and touch them.
While tactile maps are first and foremost a disability accessibility offering, they are a part of your overall marketing strategy as well. It does provide the seeing world with something different, new and, ultimately, memorable.
For more information on creating tactile maps for your space or event, contact us at Brailliant Touch Australia.