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These notes sum up research and experience in designing paper documents for visually impaired people. Written in September 2001, they are based on recommendations from the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Lighthouse International, other research and, where there is no better guide, our own taste and prejudice.


The choice of typeface is less important than contrast, type size, weight and the spacing of characters.

Quirky, unusual, script and titling faces are highly inappropriate for legible continuous text.

There is no valid research to support the preference for a sans serif typeface (such as Arial or Helvetica) over a seriffed one (such as Times or Century). However, seriffed faces are regarded as more 'readable' in continuous text for regular reading. This may equally apply to large print texts.

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