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Helping raise awareness of accessible print design

Thursday 17 October 2019

Design accessibility is a big issue for people with dyslexia. Learn how one print business is trying to change attitudes to designing for accessibility.

As Head of Marketing at a digital print company, and someone with close family members affected by dyslexia, I’ve always been aware of how important it is for printed content to be inclusive of a broad range of audiences and abilities.

We wanted to know whether marketers were aware of the needs of people living with dyslexia. And if so, were they following guidelines available from the government and certain charities, such as the British Dyslexia Association, on how to create accessible printed materials?

In conjunction with the British Dyslexia Association for Dyslexia Awareness Week, we carried out a survey of 622 UK businesses to see if they considered usability when producing their printed leaflets and posters. The results were surprising.

While it was encouraging to see that almost half of the businesses who took part (44%) take accessibility issues into account when designing for print, it was clear that education is still needed – with the remaining 56% of businesses failing to do so. We asked ourselves how that could be, and the survey results told us that awareness is a big issue. Many people simply don’t think about it.

You can also find more details on the findings of our survey on our blog.

Producing printed materials that are accessible to people with dyslexia is hugely important. By ignoring usability issues when designing posters, leaflets and business cards, companies run the risk of neglecting a significant portion of their audience.

There are many simple ways businesses can make their materials more accessible.

Government guidelines outline best practices for creating accessible print designs, including ideal font sizes and colour schemes. The British Dyslexia Association itself has its own guidance for designers to follow – as do the experts at the Sensory Trust. We examined these resources and combined them with our own expertise to build templates for business cards, flyers and posters.

With just a little extra effort and expense, it’s easy to create printed materials which meet the accessibility needs of people living with dyslexia by following a few simple steps.

About Solopress

James Shields is Head of Marketing at Solopress, an online print company which provides business cards, flyers and leaflets among other printing services. With more than 12 years’ marketing experience, James has led continuous improvement at businesses across various sectors. James has a close family member with dyslexia, and is committed to pursuing accessibility in print design.

Solopress is part of the British Dyslexia Association Assured scheme. With helpful font suggestions, appropriate colour schemes and easy to digest layouts, their guides make it easier for you to produce accessible content.

Download our British Dyslexia Association Assured templates to get started.