Basic Approach

The Toppan Group realizes the social value of universal design (UD). Since pioneering a UD packaging consulting service in 1999, Toppan has been consistently designing and producing attractive, easy-to-use UD packaging and communication tools for as many people as possible in every business field of the Group.

The Toppan Declaration on Universal Design and Toppan’s Seven Principles on Universal Design (both established in 2010) define UD as a guiding philosophy for developing products and services that “help realize a society with a high appreciation of diversity.” By embracing UD approaches, Toppan assigns greater weight to dialogue with diverse people and the consideration of different physical abilities and perceptions, usage scenarios, and design parameters (“comfortable,” etc.).

Toppan Declaration on Universal Design

The starting point of our Universal Design is
the provision of dedicated products and services realized through
compassionate consideration of users.

By engaging in repeated dialogues with people from all walks of life
and consistently incorporating the ideas of each person,
we will create dedicated products that are
comfortable, easier-to-use, and environment- and human-friendly.

As a corporation extensively involved in human life,
we will help realize a society with a high appreciation of diversity
through approaches to Universal Design.

Established in April 2010

Action Policy

Universal design (UD) is one of the core concepts underpinning the business operations of the Toppan Group. In keeping with the Corporate Philosophy, the Group persistently embraces UD challenges to help realize a society with a high appreciation of diversity.

Toppan’s Seven Principles on Universal Design
  • Design products and services that are more responsive to people with different physical abilities and perceptions.
  • Facilitate communication using multiple channels for communication, including visual, aural, and tactile channels.
  • Make products easier to use by making them easier to understand.
  • Make products that are easier to move, easier to approach, and require less strength (remove the physical burdens).
  • Design products that are safe to use procedurally, functionally, structurally, materially, and environmentally.
  • Provide products at a reasonable price and in the amounts required by society.
  • Engage in design that appeals to the senses with consideration for comfort, enjoyment, and beauty.

Established in 2001
Revised in April 2010

Toppan’s Guidelines for Universal Design

The Toppan Group has been developing products and services based on its Guidelines for Universal Design in communication design and packaging.

Guidelines for Universal Design in Communication Design
Guidelines for Universal Design in Packaging

Examples of Communication Design Initiatives

Multilingual Digital Assistant BotFriends® Vision Series

    • Barrier-free Signage for Interfacing with AI

    The multilingual AI signage BotFriends® Vision series are digital assistants that provide users with audio, text, and image guidance to help them find information optimally matched to their queries.

    The newest BotFriends® Vision+ serves up both AI-generated wisdom and real-time answers from human service representatives working remotely.

    Designed in consideration of people in wheelchairs, the BotFriends Vision terminals offer helpful guidance at public and commercial facilities.

Initiatives for Fiscal 2020 and Beyond

BotFriends® Vision+ for Hybrid AI and Remote Human Responses
  • Welcoming Passengers at the Newest Station on the JR Yamanote Line

    BotFriends® Vision and BotFriends® Vision+ serve passengers at Takanawa Gateway Station, a new station opened in March 2020 on JR-East’s Yamanote Line circling inner Tokyo.

    Answering queries through contactless, voice-only interaction, the BotFriends Vision terminals deliver safer operations for passengers and service representatives. These digital assistants are helping the station offer greater hospitality to Japanese and foreign visitors with enhanced convenience.

  • Serving at Four Major Stations in Northeast Japan

    In April 2021, East Japan Railway Company installed BotFriends® Vision and BotFriends® Vision+ terminals at Sendai, Morioka, Akita, and Shin-Aomori stations in northeast Japan. The Vision+ terminals expand the Vision system by combining AI-generated wisdom with real-time remote human interaction.

    These contactless AI-based terminals can offer passengers secure, useful guidance.


    • Speech Translation App for Smooth Multilingual Communication

    An intuitive, easy-to-use, voice-based translation service supporting 30 languages. Users can register proper names and fixed phrases. The VoiceBiz® application has a reverse translation function to help users check whether the delivered translation expresses what they want to say. Helpful for serving customers at counters and in stores and for providing business support for workers from other countries.

Initiatives in Fiscal 2020

Greater Language Capability and More Names and Phrases
  • The convenience of VoiceBiz® has now been enhanced. Listening carefully to the voices of VoiceBiz customers, Toppan has added Filipino speech translation capability and augmented its fixed-phrase lexicon with conversational phrases frequently used in governmental, educational, and medical settings. A survey function that captures customer needs in real time has also been built in to enrich and refine the functionality and translation accuracy of the system going forward.

IoA Virtual Teleportation®

    • Remote Experiences via Avatars and Robots

    Based on the concept of the Internet of Abilities (IoA), the IoA Virtual Teleportation® technology allows people to transcend physical constraints online and enjoy remote experiences through an avatar or robotic twin in distant locations.

Initiatives in Fiscal 2020

IoA WorkTM Remote-work Support Service
  • Using its IoA Virtual Teleportation® technology, Toppan has developed an IoA Work service to support innovative work approaches combining the virtual with the real. A prototype version IoA WorkTM released on February 15, 2021 generates brand-new remote working environments that allow users to freely move between real and digital office spaces. KOKUYO Co., Ltd. has adopted IoA Work for combined use with its WORKPOD® personal workspace to create a customized IoAPODTM work environment. A highly immersive experience conjured with curved displays and other digital technologies promises more effective remote communication both in digital twin offices through avatars and in real offices through robotic twins.

VR Experience of Dementia

    • An Interactive Tool for Understanding Dementia Sufferers

    Simulated experiences of either having dementia or serving a customer with dementia are available with a smartphone and VRscope®. This VR simulation explains dementia and presents keys for serving customers affected with the condition. VR experiences facilitate viewer understanding of the behavior of dementia sufferers and help viewers learn how to support them.

  • Service overview of the VR dementia experience (in Japanese)

Initiatives in Fiscal 2020

VR Simulating what Dementia Sufferers Experience behind the Wheel
  • Local governments and other entities in Japanese society are working to address the rising incidence of automotive accidents caused by drivers with reduced cognitive function, primarily the elderly. Under the supervision of the Decision-Making Support Organization Japan, Toppan has worked with the Koreisha Anzen Unten Shien Kenkyu-kai (Research Group for Supporting Safe Driving by the Elderly) to produce new virtual reality (VR) content addressing dementia among elderly drivers. By simulating the experience of a driver with a cognitive disability behind the wheel, this VR production shows participants how to accurately recognize the signs of impaired cognitive function not only in others, but also in themselves.

    *Introduced in June 2021

Toppan Bunkyutai®

    • Fonts that Please the Eyes and Resonate in the Heart

    Toppan Bunkyutai®—a gentle typeface available in Mincho, Gothic, and headline styles—ushers in the future of print and display fonts. The words spelled out in this light, fluid, handwritten-like typeface are easy on the eyes and resonate in the heart.

Braille Neue

    • Communication Fonts for an Inclusive Society

    A universal font readable both by the fingers (braille) and with the eyes. Braille Neue helps create a society where the visually impaired and the sighted can communicate across the perceptual divide by reading and exchanging the same text.

Omakase Announce®

    • Barrier-free Communication Enabled by Speech Synthesis that Eliminates the Need for Recording

    This service uses speech synthesis to produce natural sounding voices that are close to that of real people. In addition to announcements in public facilities and narration of video, it can be used as a tool to aid understanding for foreign language speakers and people with impaired vision.—Web-based Multilingual Solution

    • Enabling Websites to Be Viewed in Multiple Languages

    With the mission of making it possible for people throughout the world to access all data in their first languages, this solution converts websites into up to 43 languages to drive success in overseas strategy and dealing with speakers of other languages.

ToruSil™ Image Analysis Platform

    • An Image Recognition Service for Businesses that Requires No Markers

    ToruSil™ is a cloud-based image recognition service for businesses. It recognizes images taken by smartphones or similar devices and delivers relevant information for the user and setting by providing links to websites, translations in multiple languages, AR content, and more.

Examples of Packaging Design Initiatives

Bottle-type Container for Antiseptic Wipes

    • Daily-life Packaging

    The spring-action cap can be easily opened or closed with one hand. The innovative inner stopper ensures that the sheets are readily set and only pull out one at a time. Unlike earlier packaging for antiseptic wipes, this bottle-type container is designed in a sophisticated shape that blends in discreetly in room interiors to promote thorough disinfection in daily life.

Barrier-free Packaging for Pharmaceuticals

    • An Inclusive Package for Everyone

    A user-friendly package with visual and tactile cues for medication use. Guided by intuitive tactile cues, anyone (from persons with visual impairments to persons from different cultures) can easily open the package from the front and quickly reclose it after the tablet is dispensed. Large-font printing inside clearly displays the usage and dosage information. An Accessible Code® (QR code) gives users access to the same information in audio formats in multiple languages. The debossing provides a tactile indication of where the information is printed.

    • Front-opening design

    • Re-closable

Biomass Plastic Container

    • Convenient, Eco-beneficial Packaging

    A four-leaf clover shape when viewed from above. Fashioned with four sides that contour gently inward, this package can be easily held by seniors and children.

    The cup portion is partly composed of a biomass plastic derived from sugar cane. By incorporating biomass plastic, this eco-conscious packaging will reduce the consumption of an estimated 9.5 metric tons of fossil-fuel-derived plastic per year.

Hand Hygiene Bottle with a Silicone Strap

    • Go-anywhere Packaging

    A constant supply of hand cleaner or hand soap on your travels from place to place. The bottle strap easily attaches to bags, strollers, or anything else you carry. Clean your hands with a personal supply of soap whenever you wish.

    The simple, translucent silicone strap comes in pleasant colors and is adjustable to three length settings.

Itadaki (“dig-in”) Pouch

    • A Package that Works as a Bowl

    A microwavable, heat-resistant food pouch that stands and stays open on its own. Eat food directly from the pouch after simple microwave heating (no boiling or stovetop heating required).

    Simplified meal preparation without cooking or washing holds great advantages for markets like Japan, a mature society with many seniors and singles. This package meets the demand for precooked foods that can be enjoyed with minimal preparation.

Container for Sprinkle-type Seasonings

    • Packaging that Sprinkles Smoothly

    A grooved bottle shape for easier handling. Treated with a special process, this container eliminates the clumping of sprinkle-type seasonings that can occur when an open bottle top is exposed to moisture released from cooking. The hinged cap opens with a single action and reliably seals out air to reinforce the anti-clumping effect. A seasoning can be sprinkled out in just the right amount.

Packages for Contact Lenses

    • Package that Can Be Sensed by Sound

    This package has a locking function for closing and provides the user with a reassuring clicking sound enabling them to enjoy using it with comfort and peace of mind.

Packaging for Kampo Medicine Formulations

    • Packaging to Avoid Medication Mix-ups

    The clear, easy-to-use design prevents mix-ups between the hundreds of Kampo formulations prescribed. Patients and healthcare professionals can quickly tell one product from another from the numbers and colors displayed. This packaging prevents misidentification, reduces workloads, and enhances the safety and security of Kampo medications.

Pouch for Refilling Shampoo and Conditioner

    • Easy-to-hold, Easy-to-pour Packaging

    A stand-up pouch for refills. With a centrally positioned spout separate from the fill opening, PALM POUCH® is easy to hold and pours content easily into the refillable container. The stable spout position assures fast, smooth refills down to the last drop.

Tube Packaging for Food

    • Package that Closes with a Reassuring Clicking Sound

    The cap of this package closes with a clicking sound when it is turned through 180 degrees to inform the user that it has been firmly closed.

Swallow-proofing Blister Pack for Coin Cell Batteries

    • A Package that Prevents Accidental Swallowing by Children

    This package is very difficult for children to open by hand, and thus prevents the accidental swallowing of the coin cell batteries inside. The from swallowing the coin cell batteries inside the package. The battery pops out easily when the package is cut with scissors and pressed from both sides.

Air Hold Pouch®

    • Stable and Easy to Hold

    The Air Hold Pouch®has a vertical pocket of air in the side, making it more stable and easier to hold and use.

Smart Deli Bag

    • A Pouch for Simple, Convenient Food Preparation

    The Jo-deki Smart Deli Bag®is a steam release pouch with a zip that makes it possible for the user to add their own ingredients for a home-cooked touch. Tasty food can be prepared easily in a microwave oven, eliminating the need to use a flame or cooking utensils and reducing the workload for clearing up after meals.

EP-PAK Fold & Tear / Easy Removal Cap

    • A Package that is Easy to Separate for Disposal

    The top part of the pack can be removed easily by folding and tearing along the perforations by hand. Special processing also makes it easy to remove the cap by turning it, thereby improving recyclability.

Toppan’s Support for Universal Design

Toppan uses the Group’s expertise in design production and research to provide universal design (UD) support services for client companies. Toppan assesses and analyzes clients’ printed materials, websites, packaging, and spatial designs from UD perspectives, identifies areas to address, and suggests design improvements.

DentatsuClinic® Counseling on Information Tools

Tackling “Hard-to-Understand” Design in Information Tools

Toppan’s “DentatsuClinic®” solutions (“dentatsu” means “communication” in Japanese) assess the information tools that client companies provide to their customers and suggest ways to make the tools more effective and easier to read and understand.

In 2009 Toppan launched “Editorial Universal Design (E-UD),” an original method to support clients in their efforts to create more effective information tools for diverse people. This method has now been updated into DentatsuClinic®, a service that makes use of the Group’s accumulated UD expertise. With uniquely developed examinations to identify the points that make an information tool “hard-to-understand,” DentatsuClinic® solutions provide a holistic review of information tools spanning from the look & feel and language to the page composition and organization of the medium used. These solutions are effective in improving usability for busy people, earning trust and empathy from a broad swath of people, making reasonable accommodations to ensure that information is accessible to persons under diverse conditions, and averting inflows of negative reactions.

Diversity and Inclusion Support

UD Communication for Diversity and Inclusion

What can Toppan do to create a society “leaving no one behind,” as pledged in the SDGs? In 2016 Toppan set up a UD Communication Laboratory, a special section tasked with augmenting the social value of the knowledge and knowhow the Group has cultivated in universal design (UD) and communication design over many years. The laboratory has been developing UD communication services to support client companies.

UD perspectives in an organization’s communication strategies are essential to facilitate diversity in the workplace, enhance corporate value, and respond to a diverse consumer base. The Toppan Group will continue to support client companies in their efforts to address the challenges they face in four areas: “inclusion awareness,” “UD education,” “diversity management PR,” and “promotion geared to diversified needs.”

UD Solutions for Packaging

Improving Usability by Analyzing the Challenges Consumers Face

The Toppan Group has been focusing on universal design (UD) in packaging since the 1990s. The Group develops and improves UD packaging for products manufactured by Toppan and customer companies by applying and providing one-stop UD solutions to detect unresolved challenges and carrying design concepts forward through the stages of verification and production.

Toppan takes a scientific approach to determining the challenges consumers face in using products. The challenges identified are codified into the Group’s Guidelines for Universal Design in Packaging. Toppan relies on these guidelines to provide customers with UD packaging solutions that value usability perspectives and consider the psychological impacts of designs and how designs are perceived with the five senses. Toppan’s UD packaging solutions offer a plugged-in style of UD that satisfies requirements for user friendliness (e.g., injury prevention and ease of use for children and the elderly), time-efficiency in housework, environmental friendliness, and other prominent needs in society.

Eye-tracking Study

Eye-tracking Analysis of Product Visibility and Usability
  • The Toppan Group has adopted a quantitative, scientific approach to the analysis of product visibility and usability using an eye camera. An eye-tracking study checks whether the right messages are conveyed to consumers from shopping sites or communication tools such as product packages, in-store fixtures, and sales promotion goods. The study also explores whether purchased products communicate information to users plainly.

    Toppan asked consumers to purchase and use actual products in one of several venues: a real store, a mock store, a website, or a space simulating where a customer would typically use the product. Researchers interview consumers after product-use tests to accurately identify issues in detail and advise client companies on how to improve the visibility and usability of their products.