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Thread: What about semi-bold?

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From: Fix, Lawrence
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 3:27PM
Subject: What about semi-bold?
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I got a question today from one of our designers about color contrast rules for semi-bold fonts. They are aware of the 18pt/14pt bold distinction for large text and were wondering if semi-bold would have a different requirement. WCAG doesn't seem to address this - wondering if anyone has dealt with this. Thank you!

Larry

Larry Fix
AIG
Web Site Accessibility
L&R Experience Design
80 Pine St, New York, NY 10005
Tel +1 917 703 3916
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | www.aig.com

From: Jared Smith
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 3:39PM
Subject: Re: What about semi-bold?
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WCAG doesn't address this. They simply set the "large text" threshold
with "bold" text - generally defined as 700 weight in CSS. Of course
different font faces will have different weights and boldness when
bold, so common sense is in order.

I would suggest that if text has less than 4.5:1 contrast and the only
thing that would allow it to pass WCAG is for it to be made bold and
thus "large text", that it probably has pretty low contrast
regardless.

Jared

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 4:10PM
Subject: Re: What about semi-bold?
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On 14/02/2019 22:39, Jared Smith wrote:
> WCAG doesn't address this. They simply set the "large text" threshold
> with "bold" text - generally defined as 700 weight in CSS. Of course
> different font faces will have different weights and boldness when
> bold, so common sense is in order.

I'll echo Jared's comment here...WCAG is surprisingly vague in this
regard. Even just taking "bold" to mean 700 weight, this is mostly
irrelevant as it does not take into account the actual typeface - even
when set to "bold", some typefaces can be extremely thin. So it's a very
handwavy requirement overall...

> I would suggest that if text has less than 4.5:1 contrast and the only
> thing that would allow it to pass WCAG is for it to be made bold and
> thus "large text", that it probably has pretty low contrast
> regardless.

And I'd agree here as well. In an audit situation, I would say that text
that is subjectively "bold-looking enough" may nominally pass the SC,
but would still strongly advise clients not to rely on this and just aim
for 4.5:1 regardless.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Aditya
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 6:27PM
Subject: Re: What about semi-bold?
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I agree with the interpretation. Ask designers to choose colors that meet 4.5:1. If that’s not possible, and if you really want to go by strict rules, enforce “bold = 700” rule. Depending on the font it might look hideous and a different color that meets 4.5 ratio might be given to you :)

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 14, 2019, at 5:10 PM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
>> On 14/02/2019 22:39, Jared Smith wrote:
>> WCAG doesn't address this. They simply set the "large text" threshold
>> with "bold" text - generally defined as 700 weight in CSS. Of course
>> different font faces will have different weights and boldness when
>> bold, so common sense is in order.
>
> I'll echo Jared's comment here...WCAG is surprisingly vague in this regard. Even just taking "bold" to mean 700 weight, this is mostly irrelevant as it does not take into account the actual typeface - even when set to "bold", some typefaces can be extremely thin. So it's a very handwavy requirement overall...
>
>> I would suggest that if text has less than 4.5:1 contrast and the only
>> thing that would allow it to pass WCAG is for it to be made bold and
>> thus "large text", that it probably has pretty low contrast
>> regardless.
>
> And I'd agree here as well. In an audit situation, I would say that text that is subjectively "bold-looking enough" may nominally pass the SC, but would still strongly advise clients not to rely on this and just aim for 4.5:1 regardless.
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > >

From: John Foliot
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 6:58PM
Subject: Re: What about semi-bold?
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Hi all,

It's worth noting that 11 years ago, the reality on the ground was
basically the binary bold and not bold options. Browser support for the
font-weight property was not well (if?) supported in 2008 (for example,
Chrome 2 shipped 4 months before WCAG 2.0)

https://www.w3schools.com/cssref/pr_font_weight.asp

This need for more specificity to the standard suggests it is a good
candidate for a next-gen Success Criteria in WCAG 2.x, which I'll volunteer
my buddy Patrick to support me in bringing back to the W3C.

JF

(Sent from my mobile, apologies for any spelling mistakes)

On Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 7:27 PM Aditya via WebAIM-Forum <
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = wrote:

> I agree with the interpretation. Ask designers to choose colors that meet
> 4.5:1. If that’s not possible, and if you really want to go by strict
> rules, enforce “bold = 700” rule. Depending on the font it might look
> hideous and a different color that meets 4.5 ratio might be given to you :)
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Feb 14, 2019, at 5:10 PM, Patrick H. Lauke < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
> >
> >> On 14/02/2019 22:39, Jared Smith wrote:
> >> WCAG doesn't address this. They simply set the "large text" threshold
> >> with "bold" text - generally defined as 700 weight in CSS. Of course
> >> different font faces will have different weights and boldness when
> >> bold, so common sense is in order.
> >
> > I'll echo Jared's comment here...WCAG is surprisingly vague in this
> regard. Even just taking "bold" to mean 700 weight, this is mostly
> irrelevant as it does not take into account the actual typeface - even when
> set to "bold", some typefaces can be extremely thin. So it's a very
> handwavy requirement overall...
> >
> >> I would suggest that if text has less than 4.5:1 contrast and the only
> >> thing that would allow it to pass WCAG is for it to be made bold and
> >> thus "large text", that it probably has pretty low contrast
> >> regardless.
> >
> > And I'd agree here as well. In an audit situation, I would say that text
> that is subjectively "bold-looking enough" may nominally pass the SC, but
> would still strongly advise clients not to rely on this and just aim for
> 4.5:1 regardless.
> >
> > P
> > --
> > Patrick H. Lauke
> >
> > www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> > http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> > twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > >

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Thu, Feb 14 2019 7:07PM
Subject: Re: What about semi-bold?
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On 15/02/2019 01:58, John Foliot wrote:

> This need for more specificity to the standard suggests it is a good
> candidate for a next-gen Success Criteria in WCAG 2.x, which I'll volunteer
> my buddy Patrick to support me in bringing back to the W3C.

I'll happily pass on touching anything to do with "regular" vs "bold",
as to be precise we'd really need to get into defining things down to
the stroke width level of individual typefaces used...which doesn't
sound like fun at all ;)

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke