Digital Is The New Paper

An autistic opinion on how to use social media to capture your audience.

A brown background with blank white paper, a pencil and pencil sharpener
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The days of traditional writing are long past. Paper is slowly becoming obsolete and digital media reigns king! Part of this trip into the new world of virtual reality is changing your approach to writing. Social media writing is different because it is about emoting and not preaching. Social media gives the viewer a choice to interact with or dislike the content. Capturing your audience involves more than academically cited resources and statistics. You have to create an interpersonal relationship with the audience online.

Canva to the rescue

Canva is a graphic design product filled with a plethora of design options. If you have the Pro version of Canva, there are no limits on what you can design. Whether you are an experienced graphic designer or a beginner you can use Canva to make beautiful social media posts. Making social media posts includes making the graphics accessible for the neurodiverse and disability community. Anyone can make social media accessible for all audiences if you follow some important steps that will be outlined throughout this blog series.

Step 1: Pick your colors

The most important first step to using Canva is adding your brand colors. When you start posting on social media you want the consistency of layout. The colors you use are the first thing people will notice. Colors will either draw people to the brand or push them away.

If you are familiar with the color theory you are good to go! If you are not, remember that certain tones like red, orange, and yellow can because negative emotions. At the same time, red, orange, and yellow tones are not visually accessible for your low vision audience or struggle with migraines.

For your color palette is pastel blues, pinks, and purples. Utilizing calm colors helps the viewer desire to stop and read the text. If you have predetermined brand colors that happen to fall in the “red zone” that is okay! You can use a different tone of the same color or alter the transparency so it is not too bright or intense.

Step #2: All About the fonts

The font style needs to be readable. Some of the fonts look pretty on the screen but are hard for the viewer to read. Avoid cursive fonts like Lobster. You need your message to be clear and concise.

You don’t want the reader confused and trying to decipher the words on the image. For screen reader accessibility for blind and have low vision audiences use Calibri or Sans Serif. Always have the size of the font readable. Your text should be at least size 18 for subtitles and larger for the heading.

Don’t pack too many words into your image. The body of your post is there for words and hashtags! The goal of the graphic is to bring the audience to you. If you clutter the image with words, they aren’t going to stary around.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will discuss images, alt text, and the elements used in Canva!

Tas is an autistic neurodivergent writer. They are advocates for social justice, equality, and are scholars of life.

This article is not sponsored. We originally wrote this article for our Writ 305 social media class in 2022.

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Tas (they/them)

Tas (they/them)

We are autistic members of the disability community and hold various mental health diagnoses. We are advocates for social justice, writers and scholars of life.