Boomers are my main target. So I did some research into how our vision changes as we get older to make sure the marketing I was creating was as easy to read as possible. It was eye-opening, to say the least.
Not to bum you out, but as we age:
- Our pupils get smaller and our field of vision decreases.
- Our eyes also absorb less light, so we need more light for seeing. That’s why driving at night becomes more challenging as we get older.
- Item Our lenses harden and turn yellow, making it harder to distinguish between blues and greens and easier to see colors in the yellow, orange and red spectrums.1
- It becomes harder to see the intensity of colors. What may seem like a bold, bright color to young eyes is actually much more muted to boomers. This is why you often see a senior woman wearing an overwhelmingly BRIGHT RED lipstick. She just can’t see how bright it really is.
- Soft pastels become very hard to distinguish and end up just looking dull and gray.2 Think how blah that is for marketing pieces.
So, with all this at play, what should you do to make your marketing easier and more inviting for boomers to read?
- Make sure your pieces have enough contrast going on to separate the elements. For instance, don’t use light blue type on a medium blue background or light yellow type on a white background.
- Forget about thin, lightweight fonts—medium is better. And make sure your font is 12 pt type equivalent.
- Incorporate as much white space as you can.
- Too much white type reversed out, or long headlines in all caps, are also hard to read. Boomers prefer sentence case for their headlines. It’s okay to have a word or two in all caps, if you’re into that.
- Try the squint test. Squint your eyes and look at your work. This approximates the vision and light loss most boomers experience. If you can still see everything, you’re good to go. If some elements disappear or are difficult to see, you know what you have to fix.
Don’t forget, boomers still have a lot of disposable income. So it really pays to make your marketing as easy to read as possible.
1Discovery Health Blogs. John Whyte MD. Aging and your eyes. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/20200515/blog-aging-health-care
2Normal Age-Related Vision Loss and Related Services for the Elderly. https://www.laurenscharff.com/research/donia/impact_of_low_vision.htm
Effects of aging on color vision. http://colourstudioinc.blogspot.com/2011/11/effects-of-aging-oncolor-vision.html
Boni is a Medicare specialist with over 9 years of experience marketing to Medicarians. As an Associate Creative Director, she leads the Medicare creative development team at KERN Health.