Making brands accessible

Illustration, decorative only

Accessible design means that a wider range of people that may have impairments, are able to access information online, and offline with ease. 

In marketing this translates to websites, print or marketing materials and social media as well as the written copy, images, videos and other media we use across all of these platforms. 

Accessibility principles and approaches are constantly under review, Things change quickly and how we are executing our communications and brand should be reviewed regularly. However, there are best practice elements to consider when creating marketing materials.

When creating your materials, think about two things. The first, is that it’s about context. Second, think about your intent and considerations of your audience.

Best practice

The basics (source here):

  • Get it right from the start
  • Don’t assume
  • Use jargon-free language
  • Keep writing short and concise
  • Use alternative text for images and other media
  • Use content notes such as trigger warnings or content information
  • Make sure your email signature is point size 12
  • If you are unsure – ask, consult with disabled people

 

Guidance

  • When selecting colour combinations, choose simple colours that have clear contrast. We have provided guidance of which sub colours to use here, and if you want to check accessibility, you can check this website.
  • When using the headline typeface, follow the access guidelines noted here. Keep it for headlines only.
  • Our core typeface has been chosen to be accessible, and credible. If you are unable to use this typeface, use Arial as mentioned here.
  • Use simple language, avoid academic jargon. Keep content concise.
  • When using the duotone on images, make sure it is high contrast for full visibility as noted here.
  • Use images that are relevant and help tell your story. Make sure they are high quality (around 2000 pixels if using full screen) and make sure the crop works.
  • If using images on the website and social media, make you add alt text
  • When using video, make sure it has subtitles.
  • Within layout make sure it is clear, has hierarchy of type (i.e large type for headings, small type for body copy)
  • Always use a minimum typeface of point 12 for body copy when designing for print or screen.

Useful resources

As accessibility changes regularly, it is worth keeping an eye on these links and regular, useful tools that are kept updated.

  • Gov.uk – this site has some clear do’s and don’ts when designing for accessibility.
  • W3 – for in depth reading this site outlines best practice when for designing for web.
  • Colour Contrast – when designing, always check your colour contrast if you are unsure.
  • Social Media Accessibility – some useful tips on image descriptions, hashtags and video content.
  • Unlimited Accessible Marketing guide – Unlimited have created an accessible guide for people in the arts. This is a live document and will be updated regularly.
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