As creatives, we’re constantly scrutinizing our own work for opportunities to improve upon it, especially when there’s some daylight between then and now. Recently, we took a good hard look at our logo and decided — though it has served us well — the time was right for an upgrade. We wanted the new mark to hold on to the brand equity of the original while encapsulating the refinement and sophistication that’s been the result of our company’s growth. Our design team went deep into the data, and we’re incredibly proud of the result. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the work.
In case you missed it, we recently celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law, kickstarting a movement that has provided both protections and opportunities for the millions of Americans living with disabilities.
In addition to improving physical accessibility in buildings, providing reserved parking and offering modified work schedules, there are several improvements to be made to make the lives of Americans with disabilities easier, especially from a digital standpoint.
The last time we discussed ADA, we focused on ADA-compliant websites. Just as important, however, is accessible color theory. Let’s dive in.
What is Color Theory?
In general, color theory “refers to the standards and the concepts related to the use of color that can be applied in various types of design and art.” Remember the color wheel (red, yellow blue, primary colors, secondary colors, etc.)? If not, let’s take a trip down memory lane; it’s important to understand the three concepts of color and how to incorporate them into your accessible website:
Complementation refers to the way colors relate to one another. Colors on opposite ends of the color spectrum are more visually appealing, add balance to the eye and avoid straining.
Vibrancy is simply energy and emotion conveyed through color. It can also guide your audience to specific products, instructions or actions you want to highlight. For example, brighter colors can be used for graphics to generate excitement, while darker colors can be used for text when providing scholarly information.
Most relevant for accessible design, contrast creates visual interest by creating clear separation between items. Effective use of contrast reduces eye strain and focuses user attention by clearly dividing elements on a page. It’s typically best to use light colors for backgrounds and dark colors for text; effective contrast is one of the stark differences between an accessible design and one that is not.
These elements, used with adequate text ratio (which we’ll cover next), are crucial for accessibility.
Text Matters, Too
Those with complete or partial color blindness may have trouble reading your website without additional accommodations in place. When color cannot guide them to a certain button or action, accessible text can do the job. Some necessary considerations for creating accessible text:
For small or regular size text (12px or less) the contrast ratio between the text’s color and background color must be at least 4.5:1.
Use colors with symbols (such as asterisks, colons or arrows) or words to indicate importance.
Test, Test, Test
Wondering how your design elements — or entire website — stack up against ADA guidelines? The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of standards created for web developers to maintain web and mobile accessibility. Additionally, there are a number of resources available that can test the contrast of your website elements, including:
Contrast Checker, a website that calculates the contrast ratio of foreground and background colors
Accessible is the Aesthetic
From a creative standpoint, proper use of color in web design can, of course, stimulate emotions, generate sales and make your website look pretty. However, making your content accessible to all, including those with visual impairments, is great design in itself. Asmarketers, our goal is always to reach as many prospects as possible. An aesthetically pleasing website that doesn’t function well for all users is not only exclusive, it’s bad marketing.
At Look Listen, all of the content we produce is ADA-compliant to ensure a memorable digital experience for everyone. Ready to audit your site? Get connected now.
Americans, on average, are exposed to roughly 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day. Yes, you read that right. In the age of information overload, good content marketing is rendered ineffective without a strong call to action (CTA). It’s important to capture your audience’s attention from the moment they lay eyes on your advertisement or email — but it’s even more important to inspire them to take action.
There’s a lot that goes into the successful kickoff of a new project. Before the planning, however, comes the research. And while auditing documents and reviewing assets are crucial components of good research, stakeholder interviews are the gel that brings everything together. Below, some do’s and don’ts to guide your stakeholder interviews, research, planning and eventual project success.
So you’re thinking about a rebrand. Whether you’re looking to get ahead of the competition, expand into a new market, differentiate yourself with a new product or service, or one of myriad other reasons companies refresh their identities, there are more than a few things to consider before the work can begin.
It’s a new year. And with a new year comes the desire to find balance in our personal lives. Balance looks like alignment when you take it into the workplace. Add some purpose behind it? Now you’ve got strategic alignment.
We’re all digital, but many of us got started in life in an analog world. We don’t need to say “digital marketing,” because it’s almost all digital now anyway. But when it comes to a brand, the rules change. Brand strategy must encompass — you guessed it — the entire brand, digital marketing and all.
For marketers of all persuasions, storytelling is part of our anatomy. But starting a story from scratch can be daunting, especially for marketers in the media space. To more effectively engage with prospects, take a step back first and answer these four questions.