Guidance for Inclusive Marketing
Use of fonts, text layouts and text sizes and their effect on accessibility.
Choosing an appropriate typeface
San Serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana offer greater legibility than serif fonts like Times New Roman, Garamond or Georgia.
Using all UPPERCASE LETTERS, and therefore fonts that do not include lowercase letterforms such as Trajan or Bebas Neue should be avoided wherever possible. This is particularly important for text set over multiple lines.
Aside from acronyms, informational text (that is, text that is not purely decorative), should not be set in UPPERCASE if you want your text to be accessible. UPPERCASE has its stylistic benefits; it’s punchy, powerful, and strong. If you need to leverage these characteristics to help convey a message, try to use UPPERCASE only:
- for text that can fit on one line (ideally five words or fewer) and;
- in a digital setting (web, app, or equivalent) where a user is able to convert UPPERCASE to Sentence Case if they need to for accessibility reasons.
Tracking and Leading
Tracking (the spacing between letters) and leading (the spacing between lines of text) should be adjusted with careful consideration. Tracking and leading that is too tight or too open drastically decreases legibility.
Leading that is too tight can cause crashing (when two lines of text touch or overlap each other), and leading that is too open makes lines feel disconnected, disrupting reading flow.
When text is set over two lines or more, for best accessibility you should:
- Left-align text; this makes it easiest for a reader to find the start of a new line. Right- or centrally-aligning text makes this much more difficult. Justified alignment can cause word spacing to become irregular, also affecting legibility.
- Set text in paragraphs that are 52-78 characters wide. Lines that are too short or to long are less comfortable to read.
12pt should be a minimum for paragraphs of text. 14pt is better, so is ideal when possible, and should be treated as minimum for Easy Read documents.
Create a clear hierarchy by generously enlarging headings and subheadings.
Stylistic choices for emphasis
Using bold text, or adjusting scale is preferred over using italics or underlined text when you want to create emphasis.
Bold and enlarged text maintain or increase legibility, where italics and underlining can impair it.
If you're interested in booking places on a Guidance for Inclusive Marketing Workshop, please contact Disability Sport Wales' Insight and Learning Senior Officer, Dr. Rachael Newport (contact details below)