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Re: Decorative Logos [WebAIM-Forum Digest, Vol 208, Issue 24]


From: Kevin Prince
Date: Jul 26, 2022 3:51PM

Interesting comment Bevi – in the ideal world of graphic design I can see how decorative is unhelpful. In the real world where people throw up a stock image because the template needs one many are clearly “decorative’ in the English meaning of the word. In the same way we are now starting to see our agency advice considering whether some of those background twiddles are decorative or whether , for example, Maori design is being consciously used to evoke a connection to the land. In that case a decorative border is more than decorative.

The key for our thinking is to ask why that image was chosen and what it conveys – if it conveys something then it is not decorative and the visual message is required for screen readers. Particularly with the indigenous designs this is an interesting debate – and often it is not something that is necessarily pointed out to sighted users but we still feel it should be included in the ALT text.

My journey around this started some years ago working on a women’s health site with a changing sidebar telling different women’s stories. At first I though the portrait to be decorative but as I watched the richness of the images changing I realised an important message from the images was that the site was for all women, pakeha, maori, pasifika, Asian and all ages. I changed my advice and insisted on descriptive alt text

From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > on behalf of <EMAIL REMOVED> < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Date: Wednesday, 27 July 2022 at 9:35 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Decorative Logos [WebAIM-Forum Digest, Vol 208, Issue 24]
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization.

Yes, but it's rare.

A logo represents the owner of the information or product, and many logos are legally trademarked, which means that no one can use that logo but its owner.

In our hyper-faked world of news and dis-information, a logo can help authenticate that the information is from the logo's rightful owner and is not a deep-fake or knock-off.

So we recommend that at least one copy of the publisher's logo be live with Alt Text stating, "Logo, ABC agency."

All other iterations of the logo can be artifacted, including when used in repeating headers and footers, as background images, or in different sections of the webpage or document.

Regarding the term "Decorative" . . .
It's a subjective term, and as a former professor of graphic design, I can make a strong case that nearly everything on a webpage or document page is decorative — that is, it's visually designed to grab the attention of sighted users.

In accessibility, the term "decorative" is inaccurate.
The real decision to make is whether to artifact (or hide) the information from those using screen readers and other A T, or keep it live and discoverable by A T.

In our classes and consulting, we urge our clients to ditch the term "decorative" because it just sends everyone down a bottomless rabbit hole of confusion and misunderstanding.

So every graphic, whether a logo or something else, should have either Alt Text to describe it, or be artifacted to hide it.

That's my 2 cents.

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Bevi Chagnon | Designer, Accessibility Technician | <EMAIL REMOVED>
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PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
consulting • training • development • design • sec. 508 services
Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes<;http://www.PubCom.com/classes>;
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Latest blog-newsletter – Simple Guide to Writing Alt-Text

Kevin Prince
Product Accessibility & Usability Consultant

Foster Moore
A Teranet Company


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Andrew Barnett
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] WebAIM-Forum Digest, Vol 208, Issue 24

Is there any case where a logo can be considered decorative?