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 businesses 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.

Examples of Communication Design Initiatives

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.

Multilingual Digital Assistant BotFriends® Vision

    • Barrier-free Signage for Interfacing with AI

    A multilingual AI signage system. The BotFriends® Vision digital assistant provides users with audio, text, and image guidance to help them find information optimally matched to their queries.

    BotFriends® displays an on-screen animated character to interface with customers or visitors in need of information or assistance. This animated character can deliver both AI responses and the human responses of a service representative working behind the scenes.

    Designed in consideration of people in wheelchairs, BotFriends® Vision offers helpful guidance at both public and commercial facilities.

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 aim of making it possible for people all over the world to view all data in their first languages, this solution converts websites into up to 41 languages to drive success in overseas strategy and dealing with speakers of other languages.


    • Online Text Translation Service

    Japalingual is an inexpensive, fast, reliable translation service achieved by AI machine translation, which is subsequently checked by a human translator. Orders can be placed online, and there is no minimum charge. Translations of up to 2,000 characters can be delivered on the next business day.


    • Speech Translation App for 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.

Multilanguage Subtitle Service

    • “Omotenashi Guide”
      Multilanguage Subtitle Service

    This service uses sound wave recognition to translate audio from announcements and signage into subtitles in multiple languages, which are displayed on users’ smartphones. It is ideal for foreign visitors to Japan and can also be used to provide subtitles for the elderly and the hard of hearing.

IoA Virtual Teleportation®

    • Enabling Remote Experiences
      through other People or
      Robots in Distant Locations

    IoA Virtual Teleportation®is based on the concept of the Internet of Abilities (IoA). It allows people to transcend physical constraints and enjoy remote experiences via people or robots in distant locations.

VR Experience of Dementia

    • An Interactive Tool for Understanding Dementia
      and Learning How to Act Accordingly

    Using a smartphone and a VRscope®, users are provided with a simulated experience of what it is like to have dementia and also of serving customers with dementia. Consisting of an explanation of dementia and the key points for handling it appropriately, it enables users to understand the behavior of people who suffer from it and learn how to support them.

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

Barrier-free Packaging for Pharmaceuticals

    • Packages that are Barrier-free and Easy to Use

    These reclosable packages have openings that are easily identified by touch and open outwards to make it easy to remove the medication inside. Important information for taking the medication, such as method and dosage, is displayed in large characters and is easy to understand.

    • 前開き構造

    • リクローズ可能

Two-way Bottle for Food Products

    • Compact, Easy-to-use Bottle Shape

    A compact, easy-to-hold bottle for foods that come in powder form. The convenient cap makes it easy to pour out powdery foods evenly, in just the amounts needed.

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.