Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Printing Industry: Designing for the Visually Challenged

We all get older. It’s much better than the alternative. But as we age, our eyes find it more difficult to read text, and perceive color and contrast. I’m going to be 56 shortly, and I’m already noticing this. If you design printed products for a middle aged (or older) crowd, it is even more important than usual to consider the eyesight of the audience when you design brochures, print books, or any other custom printing product.

Along these lines, I recently read a useful article on legibility for older readers on The article is called, “Type Talk: Designing for the Aging Eye” (Ilene Strizver, 10/16/13), and it makes a number of good suggestions about how to select the most readable type for a print book, print newsletter, or any other job. After all, if your audience can’t see something, or if their eyes tire and they stop reading, no amount of aesthetically pleasing design will make up for this.

Choose Legible Typefaces

The article lists the ideal attributes of readable type. These include typefaces with tall x-heights (the height of a lowercase “x”), open counters (the enclosed parts of a letter, like the inside space of the capital letter “Q”), and uniform strokes (not too much contrast between the thick and thin lines of a letterform).

The article also suggests using sans serif type for body copy, avoiding condensed and expanded typefaces, and using a minimum number of fonts per page (two would be ideal, according to the article).

Basically, when you’re designing custom printing products for the middle aged, for seniors, or for the visually impaired, you would want to avoid complex display typefaces or script faces. These may be ideal for conveying the tone of your printed piece, but they impede reading. In fact, the simpler the type—i.e., the typefaces most people are used to seeing: the boring ones–are actually the most readable typefaces.

Make the Type Larger Than Usual

“Type Talk: Designing for the Aging Eye” encourages designers to make type for the elderly a bit larger than usual. If you’re used to specifying body copy at 9, 10, or 11 pt. (with one or two points of extra leading), then use 12 point type on 15 points of leading (12/15, or three extra points of leading) as a starting point. (For a more visually challenged reader, you might even want to set the text in 16 point type.)

Choose Type Weights That Are Neither Too Light Nor Too Heavy

That is, set your type in “roman,” “book,” or a similar weight. Avoid weights like “extra bold,” “black,” or “light.” According to the article, “research indicates that italic type is 18 percent more difficult to read than Roman (upright) letters.” Therefore, if you want to emphasize a word, consider making it bold instead of italic. Also, avoid the urge to make a style of type (such as all captions in a book) all italics.

Keep Type Formatting Simple

Uppercase and lowercase letters are easier to read that all uppercase letters. This is true for anyone at any age. For middle aged eyes, it’s particularly true. Therefore, set all body copy in uppercase and lowercase type. If you feel the need to use all caps, use them only for short headlines.

The article also notes that ragged right (flush left) copy is easiest to read (because the space between words does not vary, unlike justified type). It also suggests making column widths neither too narrow nor too wide (experiment, and solicit feedback from a few readers). Making sure the letterspacing (overall space between letters) is a little wider than usual is also a good move.

Keep Good Contrast Between Type and Background

It’s always easier to read type that stands out from the background substrate. Black type on a white background is ideal—all the better if your reader’s eyes are aging. Screening back type makes it harder to read, as does printing type over a busy background (like surprinting type over a photo). Conversely, having too much contrast can tire the eyes. For instance, if you’re designing a single-page flyer, avoid printing black type on bright fluorescent paper stock.

Break Up the Copy into Chunks of Information

The easier you make it for your reader to navigate the printed page, the more pleasurable the reading experience will be, particularly if your reader has diminished eyesight. According to the article, breaking body copy into shorter paragraphs, creating bulleted lists, adding extra white space to the page, including a number of subheads, and, in general, laying out copy in easily digested chunks all make for an easier reading experience.

Finally, make sure the hierarchy of editorial importance (as reflected in size differences and type differences between heads and subheads, body copy, captions, and such) can be grasped immediately—even at arm’s length. For anyone, this will make reading easier; for the visually challenged, it may make the difference between your custom printing job being read or not being read.


Be sensitive to your reader’s eyesight. Don’t assume that everyone’s vision is the same as yours (which is a very easy assumption to make). Think about your readers and their challenges. Then compensate as needed using the tools of the design trade. Your reader will love you for it, and you will get your message across.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved