Have you ever run into this kind of problem?
- You attend a networking, corporate, fund raising, or some other type of event where it is important that you connect with a variety of people;
- You see someone whom you have met before, but whose name you have forgotten;
- You try to sneak a surreptitious look at the person’s name tag without that person catching you doing it;
- Much to your dismay, the font size on the name tag is the default size 12, which you find impossible to read since you don’t have the vision of Superman.
- Result: You are yet another victim of what I call Visually Inaccessible copy.
It is amazing how seldom people who plan these events consider creating what I describe as names tags for near-sighted people.
According to the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the minimum font size for name tags is 18, not 12.
Even that size is too small to pass my ultimate name tag test, which is to be able to easily read the first names of the people who sit across from you at a table for ten.
My default font size for name tags is 36 (30 if the name is too long to fit otherwise), meaning that the first and last names are on two different lines, not on a single line, also making them easier to read.
But name tags are by no means a rare example of Visually Inaccessible copy.
Have you ever gotten an email consisting of one extremely long paragraph in a small font size? (I call this stream of consciousness writing.)
How long did it take you to decide to do what a friend of mine calls the dance of the delete key?
Make sure that all of your copy, whether on a name tag, sign, flyer, letter, web page, blog post, etc. is Visually Accessible. This is a vital component of successfully getting your point across.
If people can’t physically read your copy, they won’t read it; and all of your efforts to write effective messages will be a waste of both time and effort.
Keep an eye out for how Visually Accessible the copy is that comes across your desk, into your Inbox, or on your screen.
Seeing how inadequately some other copy is presented will surely inspire you to commit to creating Visually Accessible copy in everything you do. Your marketing efforts will certainly benefit as a result.
Please share in the comments below your favorite strategies for creating Visually Accessibly copy.
I love this. As a website copywriter, I frequently request designers to use larger fonts and font colors that are easy to see. plus, I have the designer create a separate version of the website specifically for mobile devices using best practices such as large (at least 18px) fonts. For mobile, I write shorter lines of text and in a slightly different voice.
Betsy, thank you for expanding on the ideas in my blog post. As usual, you add value and expertise whenever you share information.
I love this as I very much want to make my website and other items disability – accessible.
Marjorie I really value you so much and love your email content.
Dear Sheryl, Many thanks for your kind remarks. I’m so glad that you find my information to be valuable to you. That is always the intention and goal for everything I share.