With recent changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines that affect printed pieces, we’ve been hearing a lot of questions from our health care clients. How can they offer printed pieces with 18-point font when requested by members? And how can they do so without a major impact to cost and workflow?

As you may have discovered, switching from 12- to 18-point font isn’t always as simple as just reflowing text. A larger font can require more pages on a letter or a complete redesign of a direct mail piece, potentially impacting both material and postage costs. When charts or images with text are included, additional work is required. 

We’ve been working through customized solutions with our clients, and we’d be happy to talk about best practices for your next project too. We’ve also created this checklist to help your design team—and our internal GATHER Digital Agency—think through the challenge. While designing two different files (12 point and 18 point) up front would be ideal, these tips make it possible to redesign for a larger font size later.

  • Supply all native artwork including font and images.

  • Create all text as type, not images.

  • Leave enough white space in the design to accommodate the enlarging of text.

  • Keep in mind that charts, graphs, or other visuals with text in them will need to be rebuilt and may not fit in their original space.

  • Be sure to review all changes carefully. Reflowing copy always has the potential to introduce new issues, so the proofing and approval process is essential.

Have a new health care project in the works? Reach Out! We’d be happy to talk through what these new CMS guidelines mean for your project and discuss the simplest, most cost-effective ways to meet them.


Embracing Technology Redefining Print

Article by Arin Brown, CTO

A natural leader, Arin Brown values serving others and loves finding solutions to challenging problems. He’s known for asking good questions and approaching a situation from all sides to find innovative solutions – including unique technical ones.