Cover Your Bases: Designing for Everyone’s Eyes

When designing a print marketing piece, we tend to think about our target audience in terms of what they buy and what their demographics are, including household income, number of children, and occupation. But what about your audience’s ability to easily read the piece in the first place?

Not everyone in your target audience has the same visual acuity. Older members might have cataracts, macular degeneration, or glaucoma. Even younger consumers may have untreated amblyopia or eye teaming. Visual issues can create significant challenges for marketing. If your audience or portions of your audience have trouble reading the words, the larger marketing message will get lost.

According to the American Foundation for the Blind, here are some things to consider when choosing fonts for marketing and other communications going to target audiences (or portions of target audiences) that might have vision issues:

Font selection: Use easy-to-read fonts such as Times Roman or Arial. Avoid decorative fonts.

Font size: Larger font sizes are easier to read. In addition to direct mail, where the lettering is typically relatively small, this is also important for in-store displays, signage, and other materials that may be read from a distance.

Use sans serif fonts: Those little “ticks” at the ends of the letters can make certain lettering harder to read than others. For maximum readability, use a sans serif typeface.

Make use of bold. When possible, use bold type because the thickness of the letters makes the print more legible.

Contrast: Choose colors and typestyles that create a nice, crisp contrast from the background. The more distinction, the easier the font is to read. For the same reason, you may want to avoid using italics or all capital letters. Both make it more challenging to differentiate one letter from another.

If you are going to a general audience, it might be worth segmenting out specific age groups or other demographics and including font selection and sizing as part of the customization.

Need help choosing the right fonts and design elements for your audience? Let us help.

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