font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low

Enhancing the user experience with accessible typography: choose a font for accessibility

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low
Are you using fonts that are accessible to everyone online?

Let’s face it, the digital world should be open to everyone.

Imagine crafting a stunning website, only for a segment of your audience to struggle navigating it because of inaccessible design choices.

That’s a missed opportunity, not just for your audience, but for your brand too.

At the core of web and marketing agencies is the drive to connect, engage, and convert. To do this effectively, your websites need to be accessible to all.

And that means making sure that even those with disabilities like dyslexia or colorblindness can interact with your content seamlessly.

Accessible web design is about inclusion and maximizing your reach. We’ve explored various aspects of web accessibility, from color choices to navigation tweaks, in our past guides.

Check them out here:

➡️The importance of accessibility in design quality

➡️ Designing for web accessibility: applying the W3C guidelines with examples

➡️Designing for web accessibility: The importance of accessible color

Today, we’ll dive into a frequently overlooked aspect of accessible web design: fonts.

How do you choose fonts that are both brand-appropriate and accessible?

Let’s explore how accessible typography can make your website not just visually appealing, but inclusive and user-friendly for everyone.

Why accessible typography matters

Accessible fonts go beyond accommodating special needs.

They also enhance the experience for all users.

Some fonts can be challenging to read, even for the average person without a reading disability.

Choosing the right fonts can improve your site’s readability.

This makes your site easier to understand for everybody, whether or not they have visual impairments.

It’s a great way to boost your site’s overall user experience.

Why simpler fonts are the best fonts for websites

When was the last time you saw a website use complicated scripts and calligraphy?

It might be way back in the early 2000s.

This is because web designers have figured out that simple fonts are the best to use for websites.

Fonts with many unnecessary decorations can be distracting, hard to read, and make it easier for users to confuse letters with one another.

When your site is harder to read, it slows users down.

They might become impatient and just leave your site.

After all, who would want to spend so much time just trying to read a pos with small and unreadable text on a website?

They might just click away from your site and head on to your competitors.

As much as possible, you want to choose a font that is clear and straightforward for everyone, ensuring a seamless reading experience.

Choosing from the widely available, accessible fonts

When you look it up online, there are now a variety of accessible fonts for you to choose from.

You will want to go for fonts that prioritize readability and clarity.

These are often sans-serif fonts, as they have fewer decorative elements and no serifs to confuse readers with low visibility.

However, there are also some serif fonts with fewer embellishments and more spacing that make it easier to identify each letter.

Here are some examples of accessible fonts:

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low

Helvetica

The Helvetica font has moderate line spacing and high legibility.

This is an ideal font for print, branding, advertising, and other professional uses.

It is commonly used as body text in marketing materials and websites

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low

Courier

Courier is a slab-serif font that mimics a typewriter.

It is used as the industry standard for screenplays and scripts.

This is because it has monospacing, meaning each letter and character in this font occupies the same amount of horizontal space.

The distinct strokes for each letter and wide spacing make it easier to read this font.

Google has created a new version of this font, Courier Prime, which has crisper serifs and is less rounded, making it easier to read.

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low

Arial

Arial is a reliable, accessible font that most people use, whether online or in print given how convenient it is.

It comes pre-installed in most systems as a default font, has moderate letter spacing, and high legibility.

When all else fails, you know that you can always come back to the simple and sleek look of Arial that matches any design while staying legible.

Consider your font size

Other than choosing the right font, you should also be using adjustable font sizes to accommodate users with varying visual abilities.

The WCAG recommends a minimum font size of 16px and shouldn’t go below 12px.

It would be ideal to allow people with low or limited visibility to zoom into your website up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.

Nowadays, it’s easy to provide options for users to increase or decrease text size according to their preferences.

Color contrast is key

Certain color combinations may look good when paired together, but that doesn’t mean they are ideal for fonts and backgrounds.

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low
Can you read all of the text in these color combinations?

You have to maintain a high contrast between text and background colors to improve readability, especially for users with low vision.

We have a comprehensive guide about contrast ratio in our article:

➡️Designing for web accessibility: The importance of accessible color

Mind your typeface line spacing

Adequate line spacing enhances readability.

font,accessibility,fonts for accessibility,typography,choose a font,color contrast,typeface,fonts for web accessibility,widely available,web accessibility,font size,best font,accessible typography,WCAG,web content accessibility guidelines,body text,people with low
Putting lines of text too close can make it too cluttered, and spacing it too far can make it seem disjointed.

When text appears too crowded or cramped, it can be difficult to separate one line of text from another.

Aim for a line spacing of 1.5 to 2 times the font size.

Avoid text overlays

Minimize the use of text overlays on images or backgrounds, as they can obscure text and hinder readability, particularly for users with visual impairments.

It is safest to use a plain background for text instead of having a photo with varying colors and textures that can distract from it.

Provide alternative text

People with low vision often use assistive readers for texts and images.

It helps to include descriptive alternative text for images to ensure that users relying on screen readers can access the content.

Alt text should be concise and informative, accurately describing the content or function of the image.

Test for accessibility

Regularly test your website for accessibility using tools like accessibilitychecker.org and accssibe.com‘s accessScan.

This way, you can identify and address any issues and ensure a seamless experience for all users.

Choosing fonts for web accessibility

Inclusive design is not just a trend; it’s a necessity.

Accessible typography helps websites be inclusive for users of all abilities.

When you prioritize readability, simplicity, and inclusivity in design, you then create digital experiences that are accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

At Deer Designer, we are dedicated to making web accessibility a standard practice, ensuring that no user is left out.

Let’s create websites that everyone can enjoy, making the internet a happier, friendlier place for all!

Key takeaways

  • Selecting an accessible font for your website not only improves accessibility for people with visual impairments but also improves the overall user experience.
  • There are many different fonts online that are considered to be accessible. They are usually sans-serif fonts, but you can also use serif fonts with good spacing and defined line strokes.
  • Other than choosing the right font, it is also important to consider font sizing, color contrast, and spacing, as they can affect the font’s readability.
  • Avoid using texts on top of images or textured backgrounds, as it can make it cluttered and harder to read.
  • Don’t forget to add alternative text to make sure your text and images are accessible to screen readers.