Photo/IllutrationThe Braille Neue font was created by Kosuke Takahashi. (Naoko Kawamura)

A Japanese designer has created a new font combining braille with letters or characters that can be read both visually and by touch.

Braille Neue features raised black braille dots with katakana characters outlined in blue. It also has Roman alphabet and number versions.

Kosuke Takahashi, 25, decided to create Braille Neue after wanting to learn how to read braille. A blind friend had told him about reading books in the dark.

Under Japanese Industrial Standards, the diameter of the bottom of a braille dot is 1.45 millimeters. The standards also set rules on the distance between the dots and the thickness of each braille character.

Through trial and error, Takahashi repeatedly wrote the letters or characters on braille to ensure they followed the strict rules and were attractive.

Takahashi named his font Braille Neue in hopes that it will be used as widely as the world-famous Helvetica Neue font. Neue means “new” in German.

He hopes to build a barrier-free society where people who can see and those who cannot will use and share the same information together.

Braille Neue has started to appear in public, including the Shibuya Ward Office in Tokyo.