9.1 How to say it in print

When you are printing something, whether it’s a form or a booklet or an invitation or a newsletter, the look, layout and ‘feel’ of a document also make a difference to its attractiveness, and to whether or not it is easy to read.

Anyone who ever picked up a book or newspaper, opened it, looked at the print and layout, and then thought, ‘Maybe I won’t bother right now’ knows what this is about. Often the look and feel are as important as the content in the decision about whether or not to read something.

Clear writing is complemented by what is known as ‘clear print’. This is a set of design principles which make printed material easier for everyone to read. Follow these principles, and more people are more likely to be able to read, and to want to read, the information you produce.

You should apply clear print principles to everything you produce in print, including letters and advertisements, as well as leaflets and publications. It will also help to reduce demand for alternative formats.

The rest of this section contains the main guidance about clear print. For more detail invest in a copy of See It Right, available from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), priced at 30 sterling and worth every penny.

Useful free publications include Accessible Information for All, available from the Citizens Information Board, and First Steps in Producing Accessible Information, available from the National Disability Authority (NDA).


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