I absolutely love connecting with other small businesses and women working on diversity and inclusion. Just before Christmas, I had a chat with the kind, bright and amazing Melinda Martin. She specializes in how to make brands more inclusive. One of the questions I asked her was how I could make my illustrations but also website more accessible and therefore inclusive. Her answers were such an eyeopener yet so simple that I wanted to share them with you all. Thanks again, Melinda!

1. Color contrast

The contrast between colors is essential for readability. It's good to think about choosing text and background colors that provide enough contrast. When the text and background colors are too similar, the reader might not be able to read it as the colors blur into each other. For your next project, your website or poster design, choose complementary colors. One of my favorite tools to use is Adobe Color, which shows you which colors pass the accessibility test. 

This image has very poor contrast.

2. Font size

You can play around with the font size. Too small and no one will be able to read it, too big and it will look off on different devices. A good rule of thumb is 14pt. In addition, you can check the thickness of your font. When it's too thin it made fade away, therefore bold letters work better. 

choose your font size carefully

3. Font type

Font type is one of the more difficult ones as font type can make or break a mood you're trying to create in your design. Cursive font types are very delicate, classy, and playful but they can be very difficult to read. Block letters, or capital letters, are bold and make quite a statement but are a lot easier to read. In the end, what matters is that you are aware of the effects and impact of the choice you make. 

Font type influences your designs accessibility 

Bonus #1: Language

Have you ever gotten a letter from your government and were overwhelmed by the wordy language? If you make written content like blog posts or captions on Instagram, try being aware of your word choice. Picking your word choice carefully, allow people with low literacy to also enjoy your work! Win-win! 

Bonus #2: Use alt-text or image description

Have you seen people posting image descriptions in their captions on social media platforms lately? People with vision impairments such as low vision and blindness may use screen readers in order to access the internet, or just have trouble distinguishing images. Screen readers will read the alt text out loud, as well as image descriptions, depending on what settings the user has enabled. By adding alt text and image descriptions, barriers are lifted and more people can access your content. 

Disclaimer: None of the content in this blogpost is sponsored. I only mention people, brands and tools that I personally use, support. and have experience with. My intention of being so transparent is to bundle knowledge, make information accessible and inspire others to explore what works for them.

December 31, 2022 — Rani Temmink