The system that Braille replaced used raised letters. It was designed specifically because that older system was an utter failure
There major downsides of the old system:
- It’s hard to distinguish the curves and shapes of letters when they’re small, so the letters had to be REALLY big, meaning something like a book or an instruction manual would be impractical to make.
- Letters took a lot of time and focus to decode, meaning by the time you were finished reading the last word of a sentence, you forgot what the first word was.
- You could not teach anyone to write using this method, since it involved embedding copper wire letters between the pages.
- Because of the size and cost of making these things, it meant not a lot of text was made in this format and the text that was was inaccessible to most blind people.
The inventor of Braille was raised using this system and hated it, so decided to invent a system which was super cheap (literally just a normal typewriter, except it punched holes in paper instead of punching ink), and an entire easily readable letter could fit underneath a normal person’s finger, making it very quick to decode and taking up barely more space than a standard print character.