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Half of print marketing in the UK ignores accessibility issues

More than half (56%) of print marketing materials designed by UK businesses overlook common accessibility issues according to new research.

The study bringing these findings to light was conducted by print experts Solopress, in support of Dyslexia Awareness Week (7th – 13th October)

It has revealed that material produced by more than 600 businesses* who rely on print marketing may include fonts, layouts and colours that are harder to read for an estimated 21 million* people in the UK who experience dyslexia, colour blindness, significant visual impairments, dementia or poor basic literacy.

When asked why they were not catering for this section of their audience, nearly half of businesses (46%) stated that they simply don’t think about it.

A further four out of ten businesses (42%) said that they didn’t feel these issues affected a large section of their customer base.

Within these companies, marketing managers were most likely to overlook the matter, with 62% saying they did not think of those with accessibility needs before approving designs, despite a majority (66%) being aware that more than one in ten people experience dyslexia.

Of the 44% businesses who do make the effort to design more accessible material, basic literacy problems were considered in six out of ten designs (61%) followed by colour blindness (50%), dyslexia (43%) and visual impairments (42%).

Top 5 reasons why businesses create accessible designs

  1. They want materials to be as accessible as possible – 72%
  2. They have friends/family who are affected by these issues – 28%
  3. They believe their target audience are affected by these issues – 28%
  4. They want to be seen as a forward-thinking company – 27%
  5. They are personally affected by one of the issues – 13%

When it comes to the cost of creating accessible design, over two thirds (70%) of businesses said they spent less than £100 in doing so. 

Simon Cooper, Managing Director of Solopress said: “While it’s encouraging to see that nearly half of UK businesses do think about accessibility before going to print, it’s clear that more education is needed to highlight the issue.

“With just a little extra effort and expense, there are some simple ways to make your material more accessible to millions of potential customers. We’re proud that our guide for designers has been awarded ‘Assured’ status by the British Dyslexia Association will help more businesses adopt best practice in this area.”

 Helen Boden, CEO, British Dyslexia Association, said: “With ten to 15 percent of people experiencing dyslexia, designing in ways that works for them is key and good business sense. The simple and clear approach we recommend, makes designs easier to read for everyone and is straight forward and cost effective – being dyslexia friendly is good all-round.

“This research shows many marketers are considering accessibility when designing, which is great. But clearly there is a long way to go. We hope this helps those not factoring in dyslexia to see how easy it is to do and the benefits it brings.”

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