What does a layout sound like?

Accessibility. Reverse engineering it into existing materials is a challenge. But in a project modifying PDF publications designed for long-term client Bowen Craggs, it’s also changed how I think about layout.

As someone who loves words and visual communication equally, I’ve found it fascinating to have to consider for the first time what a layout sounds like. How does a screen reader interpret my design? How would I want to listen to the information on the page? It’s a very different way of engineering information.

It’s challenged some of the principles of design for readability that I was schooled in. But does that diminish the craft of layout? I don’t think it does. So far, I’m finding that designing well for disabled audiences makes the layout more logical for everyone.