Canon unveils Photography Exhibition for Blind and Visually Impaired

Created with VML UK and RNIB, the innovative 'World Unseen' campaign aims to inspire accessible photography designed for all

By creative salon

Canon Europe has released a video series to showcase its upcoming immersive exhibition - a photography exhibition you don’t need to see. World Unseen will be held at Somerset House, London between 5-7 April, in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Developed in collaboration with leading creative agency VML UK, the World Unseen campaign will today see four films go live across the Canon website with social teasers on Meta platforms and Canon’s owned channels ahead of the exhibition itself.

The series dives into the personal stories of visually impaired individuals - including expectant mother, Karen Trippass, British disability activist, Lucy Edwards, North America’s only blind conservationist, Lawrence Gunther, and British Champion Skier, Menna Fitzpatrick.

Through conversations with renowned photojournalists and an ultrasound practitioner, the films follow a blind mother-to-be as she feels the outlines of her baby scan, while others feel imagery through detailed braille descriptions and life-like textures. The work demonstrates the power of imagery to transform our world, capturing the raw emotion and impact of individuals experiencing photography in this tactile way.

The films are powerful demonstrations of the inclusive imagery on show at the World Unseen exhibition in April. The experience has been designed for and with blind and partially sighted people, using elevated prints, immersive audio descriptions, and braille - to ensure as many people as possible can appreciate it.

Sighted people, too, will gain a better appreciation of the partially sighted experience. Each image will be obscured in ways that simulate different types of visual impairment, from glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy. While it raises awareness of the importance of accessibility in arts and cultural spaces, it also draws attention to how inclusive design makes experiences better for everyone.

Through its proprietary PRISMAElevate XL software and Arizona printer series, Canon has been making arts more accessible for blind and partially sighted people for many years, supporting many art galleries and museums globally with tactile printing and braille signage. However, this event marks Canon’s first completely accessible, immersive experience.

“Photography is an incredibly powerful medium that can push the imagination and we want this experience to be accessible to everyone. This exhibition was created with blind and partially sighted people in mind to share imagery and the stories behind them in an entirely new way. With Canon’s elevated print technology, we hope all visitors will feel a deeper connection to the emotions and stories that imaging can bring to life,” says Pete Morris, Brand and Sponsorship Senior Manager, Canon EMEA.

The exhibition will feature works from world-renowned photographers and Canon ambassadors, including multi-award-winning South African photojournalist Brent Stirton and renowned Brazilian Photojournalist, Sebastião Salgado.

San Sharma, Creative Director at VML UK added: “World Unseen makes photography more accessible and immersive for everyone. And, in doing so, it changes the way sighted people understand the visual impairment experience. It’s a privilege to work on a creative idea that means so much to so many people, and I hope it inspires others to be more inclusive in their work too.”

VML UK has worked closely with Canon Europe and RNIB to ensure all elements of the World Unseen campaign meet accessibility standards, including website pages, video audio descriptors and the exhibition experience.

Dave Williams, Inclusive Design Ambassador at RNIB, concluded: “The World Unseen exhibition opens up the world of photography and enables more blind and partially sighted people to experience the emotive stories, and physical touch, of these iconic images. As a braille user, it’s fantastic to be working with Canon to raise awareness of the possibilities of textured print and to see in action how technology can make art more accessible for people with sight loss.”


Client: Canon EMEA

Peter Morris, Brand and Sponsorship Senior Manager Richard Sceats, Brand and Partnership Manager

Cyprian da Costa, Brand Marketing Director

Sarah Vloothius, External Communications Senior Manager

Agency: VML

San Sharma – Creative Director

Harriet Buchanan – Business Director

Josh Richardson – Senior Creative

Alex Horlock – Senior Creative

Ben Clarke – Senior Designer

Amy Mountstephens – Senior Account Director

David Anthony – Project Director

Emma Khan –Senior Project Manager

Rachel Cooksey – Senior Event Producer

Beth Cole – Junior Event Producer

Jack Connell – Senior Producer / Director, Prism

Cesar Garcia – Head of Film and Content, Prism

Mia Ruwhiu – Production Manager, Prism

Aidan Power – Project Manager, Prism

Jamie Gazard – Content Director, Prism

Jennie Alves – UX Designer

Anna Jehan – Head of Product Design

David Savage – Creative Director (CX/UX)

Maddy Frost – Strategist

Krystel Baeza – Strategy Director

Simon Law – Executive Strategy Director

Tom Drew – Executive Creative Director

Bas Korsten – Global Chief Creative Officer Innovation, EMEA CCO Steve Aldridge – Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson UK

PR Agency: Hill & Knowlton

Alex Bishop – Director

Hannah Taylor – Associate Director

Emily Wong – Senior Account Director

Reeya Patel – Account Manager

Media agency: Merkle


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