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Access &
The Infinite Font

Grad Project

Ceramic is the first font shaped to each user’s unique visual impairments. One billion people worldwide experience some form of low vision, categorized as sight between 20/40 and 20/200. The master typeface varies four typographic strategies plus weight to address a range of experiences of low vision. A website tailors it to each user and a browser extension sets the internet in the user's unique font files.

Sources of low vision include cataracts, uncorrected visual distortions, visual pathway disease, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma among others. Low vision varies widely in cause and degree but often shares similar expressions: a variety of blurs in the visual field.

A number of typographic strategies have been used to aid low vision in several typefaces. All have been static, unchangeable. The recent introduction of the variable font format, Opentype 1.8, allows near infinite end user control of letter characteristics. Ceramic uses this format to adjust to each users’ specific requirements. For example, here, similar letters are variably differentiated to avoid confusion. Distinction comes at the expense of traditional legibility so users balance their own needs.


The master typeface technically contains 200 trillion unique iterations. Practically, there are likely hundreds of useful versions.

Here, taller letters in select characters create more unique word shapes.



Mirrored letters are difficult to differentiate for people with dyslexia who flip characters, so a range of distinction has been built in.

Exaggerated punctuation clarifies sentence structure.

Open apertures prevent confusion between similar shapes (c's and o's, A's and 4's at small point sizes.)

A web platform tailors the typeface to individual needs based on a 20 questions/ binary tree model, comparing users preferences and time spent reading similar passages of text.

Beginning of the ceramic web platform that tailors the font to individual needs.
Ceramic web platform, choose between two passages to select the version which works for you.
Ceramic web platform: choose the I that works for you, barred or not barred.
Ceramic web platform support page.
Ceramic web platform support page.

A browser extension sets the internet in each users tailored font.

Browser extension adjusts web text to Ceramic.
The internet set in Ceramic: Mediated Matter, MIT.
The internet set in Ceramic: Faber Futures Its Nice That

Type Specimen/ Reader

Type specimen font book.

This project is in progress: the typeface is functionally complete and software has been prototyped. At the moment, spacing is controlled by the browser extension. More sophisticated letter spacing controls are being explored, as is end user testing.

Ceramic Type Specimen

In August 2020, this project was awarded an honourable mention/top 4 for the Bold Award for Accessible Design by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) of Canada.

I want thank my advisor on this project Chris Hethrington, my type professor Quinn Keaveney, as well as the Shumka Centre and the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr for helping to explore next steps.

Ceramic Type Specimen/ Reader

Low vision varies widely in cause and degree but often shares similar expressions: a variety of blurs in the visual field. A number of typographic strategies have been used to aid low vision in several typefaces. All have been static, unchangeable.

The recent introduction of the variable font format allows near infinite end user control of letter characteristics. Ceramic uses this format to adjust to each users’ specific low vision user needs.

The master typeface contains 200 trillion unique iterations, varying four strategies plus weight. Increased distinction decreases misidentification of similar letters (I and l for example). Increased punctuation size helps to clarify sentence structure. Increased apertures prevent confusion between similar shapes, especially at small sizes (c and o, A and 4, for example). Heightened stem heights assist people who read by unique word shapes. Differentiation comes at the expense of traditional legibility so the system tailors type to each user.

This project is in progress. The typeface is nearly complete and software has been prototyped. At the moment, letter spacing is controlled by the browser extension. More sophisticated letter spacing controls are being explored.

I want to say thank you to my advisor on this project Chris Hethrington, my type professor Quinn Keaveney, as well as the Shumka Centre and the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr for helping me explore next steps.


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