When you download you Touching The News graphics, you will find a ZIP file containing a PRN and PDF files. How to unzip/uncompress: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, MacOS.
TTN graphics are designed to be printed on ViewPlus Columbia or Delta, or similar: APH PixBlaster, IRIE BrailleTrac / BrailleSheet) and capsule paper (or Swell, PIAF, Zychem). The braille font and raised lines are specific to each embosser or tactile printer. Results may vary if printed on a different embosser.
All files are for 8.5 x 11-inch paper (letter size), landscape or portrait, depending on best fit.
Printing TTN PRNs on ViewPlus Embossers
Open PRN in Tiger Viewer or Tiger Designer, available with embosser driver.
Settings are embedded in the file, including paper orientation.
Print (ctrl-P or ctrl-F, depending on printer).
Printing TTN PDFs on Capsule Paper
Open the PDF (Adobe recommended). Send to printer. In print settings:
Ensure the paper size is 8.5 x 11 (or letter).
Check that the paper orientation matches the file (landscape or portrait).
Print at 100% or Actual Size. Do not “fit” or “shrink to fit”.
For the experienced blind traveler, obstacle avoidance is not the overwhelming part—that’s why we have canes, dog guide and blindness skills. The challenging part is getting familiar with the lay of the land in order to make the spontaneous choices of everyday life, like which quirky cafe to duck into or how to get to the canal everyone keeps telling you to wander along.
And if you’re a sighted traveler, it’s easy to take mapping tools for granted with GPS apps at your fingers. Most people don’t realize that blind people don’t have easy access to non-visual or ‘tactile’ maps. (You might be asking: what’s a tactile map? It’s pretty simple—it’s a map with raised lines and braille markers that you can feel.)
Attendees came from a wide swath of industries and design disciplines. The MAD Lab team hosted designers from Apple, architects from Arup, graphic designers, transportation specialists, programmers, students in interactive design, occupational therapists, special ed teachers, ocean mapping specialists, and highly skilled cartographers.
After comparing and contrasting examples of different design methods and discussing their effectiveness, Maptimers used these precepts to make their own maps. The group also discussed Tactile Maps Automated Production, and how this automated mapping system is a game changer for tactile map production.
“There’s such a lack of tactile graphics in the world,” says MAD Lab Senior Designer Naomi Rosenberg. “The only way to increase tactile graphic production is to teach more people how to incorporate tactile information into their designs. Sharing our expertise in tactile graphics empowers specialists in other fields to step outside of their normal design process, and design better for their audience and underrepresented audiences.”
Photos from the workshop
Take a little tour of their design process below. And if you’re sighted, next time you walk down the street or hop on Google maps, start to consider the lack of non-visual information that is available to tell you how to get around. If you’re a designer, it might just change how you approach your own designs.
Workshops like this support the MAD Lab’s goal of making visual information accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. Ready to get your hands on your own tactile map? We can quickly create an inexpensive personalized map for you centered on a square mile anywhere in the US – visit or call the Adaptations Store to order! Stop by at 1155 Market St. or give our specialists a call at 1-888-400-8933.