How to Boost Advertising Readership by Aging Customers

senior woman at mailbox

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

  • slowed focus

  • 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.

Maximize contrast

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.

See also:

Graphics and Typography Homepage

Advertising Copy Home Page

Marketing Tactics Home Page

Marketing Home Page

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