By their mid-50’s, almost all the 76 million sales prospects in the aging U.S. “Baby Boom” generation—persons born between 1946 and 1964—will experience
diminished visual acuity
loss of color sensitivity
blurred perception of boundaries and edges
increased difficulty with glare
weakened ability to perceive contrasts
increased need for light
Yet many advertisers continue to produce promotional materials without adjusting their design and typography to the decreased visual abilities of the aging U.S. population. For their advertising to reach older customers effectively, reading authorities recommend, it should:
Use increased type size
Though most young adults easily can perceive copy set in 10-point size, 12-point typography is the lower size limit for most older people.
Format type for easy reading
Research shows that optimal column width for older people is 4”, plus or minus 1-1/4”.
Choose ink and paper for maximum legibility
Black type on white paper is the most legible combination for older readers.
Avoid surprinting on background screens
Copy on a screen background is hard for older people to read.
Any type lighter than black or paper darker than white decreases contrast— and older people need more contrast than younger readers.
Use matte paper
Paper with a dull, non-reflective finish averts the glaring light reflections that many older readers find troublesome.
Employ typographic devices
Use devices such as boldface type, prominent special symbols, call-out lines, to flag the attention of older readers to important concepts.
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