How to make images and texts accessible

When it comes to creating a picture, handouts, e-books, thumbnails, or something else on Canva, we all want our images and texts to be as good as possible. Am I right? I have gathered the most useful links that will definitely help you make your images and texts as user-friendly as possible. When we create digital products, we should also think about people with reading disorders and visual impairments, too. 

Which colors match 

I don’t know about you, but I am not a professional designer and I have no idea which colors go together. That is why, I use these websites to be sure that my chosen colors “sit comfortably together.” I use a color wheel on Canva.

Color theory is wonderful! It analyzes color perception as well as discrimination based on systematized physics, physiology, and psychology knowledge.

Color science consists of:

  • the physical theory of color;
  • theories of color vision;
  • theory of measurement and quantitative expression of color.

In 1666, Newton passed sunlight through a three-sided prism and saw a spectral band consisting of a gamut (seven) of different colors. Designers usually create color compositions according to the rules of the so-called “Color Wheel.”

Color palette ideas

Canva has a web page with millions of color palette ideas. I am sure that you will definitely find the ones you love. Here is their color palette generator. 

Colors and visual impairments

As a matter of fact, there are 300 million people in the world who have color vision deficiency. That is about 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women (0.5%), according to Color Blindness In Clinton.

Color vision deficiency means that people can’t see colors or differences in colors as well. There are many types of color vision deficiency: 

  • achromatopsia (total color blindness),
  • atypical achromatopsia (partial achromatopsia with reduced visual acuity), 
  • protanopia (such people cannot perceive “red” light. Also, they cannot distinguish: black with many shades of red; dark brown with dark green, dark orange, dark red, dark blue/purple, and black; some blue colors with some red colors, purples, and dark pinks; mid-greens with some oranges). 
  • deuteranopia (people cannot perceive “green” light. These vision deficits are by far the most common form of color blindness. This subtype of red-green color blindness occurs in about 6% of the male population, mostly in the mild form of deuteranomaly.) 
  • protanomaly (people see red colors as black. Shades appear more yellow, specifically those that are orange, green, and yellow. 
  • deuteranomaly (such people are considered “green weak”. For example, in the evening, when a person sees a  dark green car, it seems to be black. People with deuteranomaly can’t tell the difference in color between red, orange, yellow, and green.)
  • tritanopia and tritanomaly (people have a hard time telling the difference between blue and green. Blue and yellow appear to be white and gray.)

To make sure that my chosen colors are good for people with color vision deficiency I use the Color Blindness Simulator.

For example, below, you can see how this pink shade #ffc0cb is perceived by people affected by a color vision deficiency. This can be useful if you need to ensure your color combinations are accessible to color-blind users.

Colors and reading disorders

People with dyslexia prefer text and background colors that are less bright and dark than the average reader. They face a number of key problems with poorly colored text. The main guidelines are the following:

1) use dark-colored text on a light background (not white because “pure” white (FFFFFF) can appear too dazzling). These are some HEX color numbers of the shades of white that you can use:

Beige – #F5F5DC

Bone White – #F9F6EE

Cornsilk – #FFF8DC

Cream – #FFFDD0

Ivory – #FFFFF0

Off White – #FAF9F6

Parchment – #FCF5E5

Seashell – #FFF5EE

You can find more shades тут.

2) keep in mind that green, red, and pink colors make it difficult to read a text not only for people who have dyslexia but also for people with color blindness;

3) chose black & creme because it is used —and recommended— by the British Dyslexia Association for their website and we selected black & yellow because of its high contrast.

4) in addition, people with dyslexia read faster when the colors are less contrasted while people who don’t have dyslexia like color combinations that have a lot of contrast between the colors.

Fonts and reading disorders

According to research studies, the best fonts for people with dyslexia are the sans serif fonts. For example, Arial and Comic Sans, because the letters appear less cramped (crowded). The alternative fonts are Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Trebuchet, Calibri, and Open Sans.

It is recommended not to use underlining and italics. Because this can cause crowding and make the text appear to run together. If you want to emphasize some words it is better to use bold instead.

Another important point is that you should only use capital letters for continuous text when grammar requires it (e.g., at the beginning of the sentence, the first letter of substantives).

For example, not like this:


Whereas it should be like this:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus vehicula consequat convallis. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Curabitur eleifend est nec condimentum viverra. Curabitur ac dolor malesuada, consectetur libero in, ultricies sem.”

The font size

In this case, the font size should be between 12 and 14 points, or 1-1.2 em, or 16 to 19 pixels. Some individuals with dyslexia may prefer a larger font size. If we talk about headings, they should be 20% larger than the normal text if we talk about them.

It must be remembered, that readability is improved by larger inter-letter spacing. In fact, it’s best to use about 35% of the usual letter width. On the other hand, if letters are too big, it can make it hard to read.

The space between words should be at least 3.5 times bigger than the space between letters.

If you would like to learn more about fonts and reading disorders, I highly recommend you read this article that was published by the British Dyslexia Association. 

One more thing, if you want to print, use matte paper instead of gloss. Furthermore, the thickness of the paper should be sufficient to prevent the other side from showing through.

Font combinations

Great design is dependent on great font combinations. Canva provides a variety of exceptional font combinations that can be utilized in your subsequent design, as well as templates that can be experimented with by utilizing the following font combinations. Here is Canva’s ultimate guide to font combinations that will definitely help you. 


All in all, I hope that you found this information useful and will use it for creating your digital products. To be honest, I always use tips because I do not if my current readers are with color vision deficiency or not. Furthermore, I have some useful links.

Free courses in English:

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10 відповідей до “How to make images and texts accessible”

  1. When I started using Canva, it was a lot to take in. I love that you explain things well and show how to mix colors right. It’s super helpful.

  2. This is a really interesting read. My brother is color blind but I did not know too much about it.

  3. Accessibility is so important when creating content. You do an amazing job of highlighting the combinations of colors as well as fonts. Thank you for the great information.

  4. This is such an amazing and informative post! I love all the examples you showed along with explaining it all so well. Accessibility is so important!

    1. Thank you!
      I will do my best to write more about this topic 🙌

  5. I love the fact that you are talking about accessibility and I appreciate it so much. Accessible images and e-materials makes it easy for people with vision challenges to access these things easily. Awesome read!

  6. This was very informative. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Always welcome!

  7. I love that you’re chatting about accessibility… It’s such a great topic to explore and something more people need to know about. 🙂 It’s fascinating learning more about the colour blindness side of things

    1. Thank you 🙂
      I’m going to write more blog posts about it because I would like to see more accessible images, e-books, websites, etc.

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