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Legibility.info: Developing Inclusive Communication Design

Legibility.info, or leserlich.info, is an online guide to inclusive communication design for people with or without visual impairments. Depending on their individual circumstances, people have different needs regarding usability and the design of typefaces, typography, and images in both print and digital media. During a two-year R&D project, we worked with people affected by the most common eye disorders, and with experts from the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV), to evaluate typefaces and layouts in terms of legibility and readability. We found that visually impaired people preferred Humanist Sans typefaces, like Sans Serifs, which are based on the Old Style, or Garalde, letterforms. The oldest design principles of printing types still allow easier recognition and differentiation between letterforms. Using the study results and extensive source research, we produced concrete and practical recommendations on typefaces, sizes, spacing, layout, contrasts, and surfaces. Animated graphics explain typography, and interactive calculators specify font sizes and colour values for specific projects. We also redesigned the DBSV’s website and its members’ magazine, Sichtweisen, in line with the findings and launched both in 2017. The project proves that inclusive design can be both attractive and cater to the needs of people with visual impairment.

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Speaker

Florian Adler

Florian Adler studied visual communication at the University of the Arts in Berlin, and trained at Otl Aicher’s studio in Rotis. In 1989, he founded the studio Adlerschmidt Communication Design. Adler is currently a lecturer for corporate and information design at HTW Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences, and was appointed as an honorary professor in 2009. Since 2010, Adler has been a member of the Committee of Typefaces at DIN, the German Institute for Standardization. From 2015 until 2017, he led the research and development project on inclusive communication design for the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV).