Case study

Accessibility through design

Designing for people with visual impairments

Over five million people in the UK are living with some form of visual impairment, that’s around 8% of the UK population. Many waste valuable time and effort trying to access content and information not optimised for them. One of our DrumRoll goals is to make information and media accessible to all people, so they become involved in the communication and are able to make informed decisions.

The brief

We worked with an international organisation to create a range of financial documents accessible to people with visual impairments maximising both education and engagement.

Key aims

After a scoping meeting, we agreed the key aims were to:

View through a magnifying lense

The solution

People with visual impairments have varying needs, so we developed a solution that could be adapted to meet those needs. We started by designing an initial document to the ideal character line length (Typographie by E. Ruder) which makes the text more manageable and appealing to read using images to help maintain this line length.

We created the following accessibility guidelines:

Drumroll Accessibility Signpost

Layout and structure

We used broad margins and single columns of left aligned text to make it easier to find the next line and avoid confusing the reading order for Electronic Reading Devices. Clear visual signposting which combined numbers and colours also helped to order the documents and make them easy to identify.

Drumroll Accessibility Leading


Increasing the space between characters and lines makes it easier to distinguish between them and ensures individual words and sentences don’t blur together. This, combined with reducing the overall characters per line and breaking blocks of text by introducing images all help to make the text more manageable to read.

Avoiding block capitals and using bold sparingly to only emphasise text where absolutely necessary as well as choosing a plain font rather than a heavily stylised one is also really helpful as some ‘creative fonts’ can be illegible to the visually impaired. We also concentrated on providing an adaptive font size which ranged between 11 and 18pt depending on the E-reader.


To help those people who are colour blind or who have a range of visual impairments, it’s important to create a high contrast between the colours we use. Colours from the lighter end of the colour spectrum (green and white for example) against dark colours (blue and black) contrast strongly and help ensure the information on the page is clear and distinct. We used Rich Black for the type colour which has a higher level of ink pigment than standard black and created a complimentary coloured border around each image to help them stand out.

Drumroll Accessibility Colour


To make the text easier to read we used a matt paper stock for printing, and avoided glossy finishes that might cause glare. Using a thicker paper stock than usual also helps to minimise text and images showing through from the other side.


This project reflects DrumRoll’s commitment to make sure all communications are accessible to everybody regardless of age, ability, gender, race or religion. We successfully met all key objectives for our client, delivering communications that were accessible to a broad range of visually impaired people, as well as being engaging and educational.

We’ve established our own accessibility guidelines as a result of this project and we’re implementing these as best practice across all our communications.