If I had a dollar for every time I sent a print piece back to the designer with a note to increase the font size…I think I can get behind this initiative.
Writing at the Retail Email blog, Chad White offers some interesting facts about the Baby-Boomer generation. First, by 2015, nearly half of the US population will be age 50 or older (AARP). Second, Boomers currently control over 80% of personal financial assets and account for more than 50% of the country’s discretionary spending power (ThirdAge).
According to White, marketers have failed to address a simple issue critical to continued patronage from this growing, affluent audience: readable font sizes. “[They] regularly use small text on their websites and in their emails and other marketing materials,” he says, “creating unnecessary legibility issues for some of their most valuable customers.”
With this in mind, he has created the acronym-friendly Boomer Legibility Initiative for a New Decade (BLIND). Its mission? To increase font size by one point in 2010, by another in 2015 and by one more in 2020.
“Increasing font sizes is also becoming vital as more email and websites are viewed on mobile devices, which often scale content down, making text even harder to read,” he notes at the initiative’s LinkedIn page, where he also recommends limiting the use of:
• Reverse type, with a lighter text on a darker background.
• Low-contrast pages, with little difference between colors used for text and background.
• Background images with a text overlay.
“Not considering the needs of Boomers when designing marketing materials means lost revenue for marketers and a poor user experience for many Boomers,” he concludes, “not to mention other visually challenged people like myself.”
When it comes to selling Boomer customers, the eyes have it.
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