Production with an inclusive lens
Clothing, makeup, and hair
Be aware and sensitive to nuances in appearance. These details can significantly add to authentic portrayals, but also risk perpetuating stereotypes.
Language and voiceover
Be thoughtful about the tone, accent, and choice of words when choosing voiceover talent and writing your script.
Photography and video
Thoughtful storytelling considers the nuance of real life and real characters to create truly inclusive representations. However, how those representations are produced and constructed can be just as impactful as the story itself.
Often in digital executions, there are fewer opportunities to feature a range of moments — as there is in film — so it is even more critical to be thoughtful about the image or illustration selected.
The illustration style you choose should positively represent people across an intersectional spectrum of identity including — but not limited to — gender, race, age, and disability. The overall inclusive audience insights and accessibility insights still apply here.
A single character is not meant to be universally representative.
When creating a character, it should represent a unique individual and all the elements that give them a distinct personality. With every individual character created, we should collectively be representing the diversity of the world.
Context is key.
Illustration can both improve inclusion and perpetuate stereotypes. Hair, facial features, body type, body language, environment, dress, and activity are all signals of identity. For example, a character’s outfit or environment can convey socioeconomic status.
Human skin tones are more representative than non-human skin tones.
Unless there is a stylistic reason that makes non-human skin tones necessary, choose human skin tones. Across the board, people find illustrations with orange or yellow skin tones to represent white users.
If non-human skin tones are required, relative shades matter.
If you are forced to illustrate multiple characters with non-human skin tones, people tend to assume that the lightest-shaded character is white, and those with darker-shaded tones are Black or Latino.
Racial or ethnic groups cannot be represented by a single skin tone.
All races and ethnicities identify with many skin tones. For example, Black, Latino, and Asian people in the U.S. describe a broad set of skin tones as representing their own. It’s important to consistently represent the diversity of skin tones, from the darkest to the lightest, regardless of racial or ethnic background.
Inclusive marketing guidance still applies when a person is interacting with a product. Even if it’s just a disembodied hand, consider: