This past weekend, I spoke at the Editors’ Association of Canada conference about Plain Language Graphic Design. I really enjoyed preparing and presenting an overview of a topic I am passionate about — accessible graphic design principles. I have also developed a course on this topic with Simon Fraser University.
People don’t usually put the words “plain” and “graphic design” together. The term is based on the plain language movement, which strives to make writing accessible and appropriate for the intended audience. Read more about plain language writing here.
In my talk, I addressed typography and other factors that can aid or hinder readability. Graphic designers can have a central role in helping to deliver information in a clear, accessible way. This type of design is really important for communications projects that need to reach a wide range of people. Plain language graphic design (or plain graphic design) is also appropriate for delivering vital information that people need, such as how to access public services.
Not all my designs would qualify as plain-language friendly, but I certainly look forward to further applying what I’ve learned through research to current and future projects. I am also keen to keep researching so that I can help make the best design decisions. I will be providing more blog postings on this topic.
Thanks to everyone who attended or helped me prepare for my talk, and to the Editors’ Association of Canada for hosting me.