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Graphic Design Services

Navigation: Minimum Sustainable Recommendations | What are the Issues? | What are the Options? 


Minimum Sustainable Recommendations

Request the service provider to meet the following requirements:

  • Contractor must understand the requirements set out in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act and the associated Standards. 
  • Contractor must support requirements for enhancing accessibility pertaining to the communication and marketing materials developed (print and/or digital) from design to promotion/distribution, as intended within the Act and Standards. Design of graphic materials must include the following:
    • Adequate colour contrast between background and text
      • Consider using online accessibility checkers to ensure colour contrast is adequate
    • Select legible fonts and adequate font size
    • Available in alternate formats
    • Use simple and concise language
    • Avoid overcomplicated designs
    • If printing, choose matte finish over glossy finish for readability
    • If an image contains important embedded text, repeat the full text immediately below the image.
  • If the communication is printed, the paper used for printed material must be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and the material must be printed by a printer or print broker that has FSC chain of custody certification to affix the FSC label to the printed material. 


What are the Issues?

Accessibility legislation, such asthe Accessibility for Manitobans Act, strives to provide equal access and participation for all people, regardless of their abilities.  The right to accessibility extends to communication materials (print and digital) which may not always be accessible to persons with visual, cognitive and hearing impairments.    By incorporating accessible design into communication and with the support of assistive technologies to minimize barrier (e.g., special readers), person with impairments are better able to access the material presented. 

Forests continue to be threatened by illegal logging activities, invasive insects, changing weather due to climate change and deforestation for agriculture and urban development. In addition to these impacts, manufacturers of pulp and paper mills use a lot of energy and water and generate harmful pollutants to our environment when processing wood into paper products.


What are the options?

Accessible design for marketing and communication materials includes a vast array of options.  Barriers associated with marketing and communication materials are often accommodated using one of two methods.  The first is to create the material in an accessible format during the design phase, the other is to create and offer accessible alternative formats.  Accessible formats may include, but are not limited to large print, plain language and plain text, providing a text equivalent for every non-text element; recorded audio, captioning, braille and electronic format for individuals to use assistive technology etc. 

In the last decade, consumers have greatly influenced the forestry and wood manufacturing industry to integrate sustainable practices into their business operations. As a result, the availability of sustainable paper products has increased in the market place and is competitively priced. Sustainable forest management practices such as those offered through FSC certification address forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and the environment.


Last updated: January 2021

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