Adding captions to your videos is just not preferable, but it is a requirement by law to enable accessibility for all. Adding closed captions to your videos ensures content consumption by deaf and hard off-hearing people and helps viewers with English as a secondary language to understand the content.
In the early 90s, the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 bill was passed by the U.S. congress allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put in place the rules for the implementation of closed captioning. Implementing the Television Decoder Circuitry Act was a big step in enabling equal opportunity for those with hearing impairments. It was passed the same year as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
DCMP guidelines for adding captions to educational videos
The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) is the nation’s leading source of accessible educational videos. The U.S. Department of Education funds DCMP.
Modified Closed Captions
Fonts for closed captions for movies, television, and other forms of media
Although there are no written rules or regulations that mention how fonts should be represented, you can incorporate the following best practices:
How do you ensure the font is clear and visible on screen without disturbing the video content? Experts suggest you adopt a simple rule to find the perfect text color – set the fill color as white and then use a thin black outline to make your closed captions readable over any color and brightness.
Which font type is best for closed captions?
Any font, as long as it is easy to read, can be used for closed captioning. Fonts can be broadly divided into two categories – serif fonts and sans serif fonts.
Examples of serif fonts are
Examples of sans serif fonts are:
Some experts suggest using sans serif fonts for closed captions, and they argue these fonts are more readable than serif font types. However, there is no updated study to prove the effectiveness of serif fonts over sans serif fonts for closed captions.
Another school of thought emphasizes using caption font as the font you use for your branding.
In conclusion, it doesn’t matter what font type you use as long as it serves the primary goal of enabling people to understand the video content.
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