December 23, 2014

WhitePrint, A Lifestyle Magazine in Braille

by Anusha Narayanan

B for Braille (the video) which was recently released by WhitePrint touched many a hearts, establishing how Braille literacy in India is a matter of concern. As a part of Kyoorius, we have extensively explored graphic design, visual and communication design, but watching this made us think whether design for the specially abled in our country has made any significant progress in recent times or not.

When we came across WhitePrint and grabbed a copy of the magazine, we were mesmerised by the inexplicable beauty of its clean white spreads. The embossed dots on the white sheets of paper seemed alien, as though they were a complex code which we couldn’t decipher. But for many this is the only script.

It instantly put WhitePrint in a genre of its own – India’s first and only lifestyle magazine in Braille.

WhitePrint4

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WhitePrint was started in May 2013 by Upasana Makati, a 64-page magazine priced at ₹ 30 and printed by the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Mumbai. Out of her interest in building “a readership of enthusiastic individuals who would look beyond the realms of mere news as reading material”, Upasana, who worked in a PR agency earlier, took it upon herself to utilise her resources and savings to produce White Print.

The content of the magazine comprises of a few regular columns about politics, lifestyle etc. and the rest of the content is improvised, based on recent national events and issues of concern. Many of the stories are inspirational, featuring young change-makers making waves in different fields.

Upasana does the coordination, curation and compilation of the magazine herself and uses a Braille-translation software called Duxberry to convert the articles written in MS Word to Braille. For proofreading, she employs a person fluent in Braille to read it before the final copy is sent out to print at NAB, who then directly ship the copies to subscribers.

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WhitePrint1

Over many issues, the magazine has carried ads by brands such as Coca-Cola, Raymonds, Aircel and the Tata group of companies. While most advertisements are long copies (text-based), Coke made the exception of installing an audio-ad in one of their issues, by means of a small chip that was inserted into a page, which played the ad aloud when a reader touched it.

WhitePrint is sent to subscribers across India and currently has a circulation of 300 copies per month. Subscriptions are priced at ₹ 300 per year, while the actual cost of producing the magazine is ₹ 2400 per year; the remaining cost is met through advertisements and from Upasana’s own pocket. Considering everyone to be equals, Upasana does not accept donations and maintains that WhitePrint will never be a charitable initiative.

The challenges, as one would expect, are many, but Upasana has managed with her principle that no matter what, the magazine must reach its subscribers every month.

Upasana Makati_Founder & Publisher _White Print

“Most brands find it tough to adjust their ads to our medium as there is no graphic or imagery involved. So they can’t really print their logos in Braille. Even when some [brands] agree, their respective agencies find it hard to design ads which would fit their entire strategy and also be suited for Braille”, she explained.

Despite this, Upasana says that advertising in Braille is a huge market waiting to be further explored since there are about 56 lakh literate, visually impaired individuals in India today. Coming across initiatives such as these provides one with immense food for thought, inspiration and potential opportunities. We too hope to see more done within the area of advertising in Braille soon…

To know more about WhitePrint, you can visit their website or subscribe to their printed issues. ppluss.ru кредитная карта бинбанка по почтекак взломать вай фай сеть соседанакрутка вконтакте подписчиков софтскачать программу для взлома одноклассниковбаза паролей mail ru сентябрь 2014скачать бесплатно поинт бланк фогейм

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Kyoorius is a bi-monthly print magazine on visual communications. Subscribe here. For buying a single copy (or any of the previous issues), write to us at sales@kyoorius.com. You can order the issue from Tadpole, get the digital copy from Magzter and also buy it from bookstores near you. For any feedback on the magazine or to submit your work, do drop in a mail to us at editor@kyoorius.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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