Personalised fonts and accessability

We’ve done some blogs on fonts before, like the best serif (and sans-serif, if that’s your thing) fonts to use, but there’s one that wasn’t on either list that’s recently been brought to our attention…

Times New Bastard was created after Tumblr user ommanyte hatched a terrible idea to frankenstein two fonts together. In this blog, we cover Times New Bastard’s creation and what it means for creative accessibility – with examples of the best fonts to use for accessibility.

the alphabet written on a blackboard

Times New Bastard

Although technically not a new font, the merger of two pre-existing fonts makes… something. Text using Times New Bastard has a new lease of life, and we can’t fault the creativity behind this one – but you should decide for yourself whether or not it’s a good thing.

The excerpt is available on Github, along with instructions on how to use the font, and there’s a text generator so you can easily test it out – but it’s probably best if you don’t use it for client work. Here’s an example of it below:

times new bastard

Fonts for accessibility

Comic sans has somewhat of a bad rep within the font community, but there’s something charming about it. (Libby’s views do not represent that of the Identity Agency). Whatever you feel about it, it’s actually really easy-to-read for people with dyslexia – which begs the question, what makes an accessible font?

Well, there are some basics: a font must be easily readable and known to screen reading software. This means that if it’s a special font, it shouldn’t use ‘i’s as ‘l’s or vice-versa. It also depends on the context – the colour and contrast of the text also matter greatly. Headings should be both large and bold, and make sure that text is legible.

General accessibility

As we’ve previously mentioned in our blog about accessibility, a business should take every precaution to make sure their content is widely accessible. This can include adding alt text to your images, making sure text is selectable so it can be read by screen readers, using only meaningful link text – so an actual description of the website rather than just ‘click here!

Also, make sure your design and layout is accessible: number pages in long documents, use text or symbols in addition to images, and ensure the size of the text is sensible. Don’t overuse bold, underlined or italic text – this should be used for emphasis only!

text sample

Bionic Reading

Times New Bastard seems silly, but there might actually be some merit in switching up fonts to make them different. Enter bionic reading, stage left: which has apparently been a lifesaver for people with ADHD and other processing difficulties. It works by making the beginning of words bold, drawing the eye to them, before the brain automatically fills in the blanks.

Renato Casutt created and named the technique, which he also says works for other languages. Try his bionic reading converter yourself, do you see any improvement? For skim-reading text, it’s got our vote – however, this may not be a widely adopted technology as boldness is used on many websites for emphasis and this may get very confusing quickly.

Can you read this?

Now that you’ve read this, you should have more of an idea of some different types of accessible fonts. Try making your own – it could be the next best thing! Or make your business more accessible by choosing to use a clearer font. Alternatively, get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you out with your branding, advertising and marketing needs!