Fontsmith develops font solutions for many well-known brands. A unique and distinctive font is integral to a brand’s make up and becomes part of who you are. We design and develop fonts, logos and licencing solutions for customers from all over the world. Our services range from simple advice and support to full bespoke typeface creation. Our typefaces are unique and exclusive to us and our work encompasses everything from traditional to contemporary.

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Design for accessibility

The First Indicator Of Inclusivity

Typography is very often the first port-of-call for design projects that focus on accessibility. If the type isn’t right for all abilities, it simply isn’t inclusive. And, given the detailed subtleties of accessibility in type, we feel this is a really specialised area.

We’ve always had a strong belief in this but we were really put to the test when we developed FS Me for Mencap - the UK’s leading charity for people with learning disabilities. It gave us the best possible first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to live in a world where there is little serious focus on visual impairment and reading difficulty.

Although there are a number of fonts that have been designed for specific problems like dyslexia, none have been designed by professional type designers. It was our privilege to work alongside Mencap on guidelines that have helped to revolutionise accessibility in type design.

We Do Things Differently

We worked with research groups made up of people who have the most difficulty with the problem. Our work with Mencap allowed us open access to the community we could have the most positive impact on. This gave us the opportunity to establish the characteristic design preferences and attributes that are most effective and appreciated by those suffering with a learning disability.

Critical issues such as preferred letter proportions, accentuated letter shapes, stroke lengths and letterform differentiation now informs our accessible design practice.

The truth is, there’s no secret to the process here. It’s simply a matter of exhaustive research, imaginative interpretation and, above all, rigorous testing and evaluation.

The Difference We Can Make

We are proud to have significantly raised the bar for accessible type design with our work with Mencap.

The font we created for Mencap exceeds current UK government accessibility standards. But, we think there are a couple of even more significant breakthroughs for Fontsmith.

Firstly our learnings now inform everything we do, so that accessibility is now a baseline for all our font design.

Secondly, FS Me’s success has gone much further than accessibility. Its design has meant that it’s not just adopted by charities and government organisations as an accessible font, but that large brands now use it simply for it for its beauty and clarity.

We’re proud the contribution we continue to make to this vital agenda.

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