August 27, 2020

Design for older people

Design for older people

Particularly in light of Covid-19, there have been many communications campaigns aimed at older people recently. Commercially, the 65+ demographic remains one of the most powerful consumer groups that advertisers can target. And yet marketing campaigns for older people are often dull, cliched or fail to connect. Alive Ventures ran a series of panels for older people called Old People are Cool, Design for them Sucks and have published some of their findings in the hope of inspiring better design for this demographic…


What really matters

One of the first things that came from the groups was that usually by 65+, people had established what was really important to them and didn’t want to waste any time pursuing anything else. Many of the panelists said that they had let go of previous ideas of what they should be doing and focused on what they wanted to do. This certainly makes the case for aiming fun or luxury products at this age group. We absolutely loved working on branding for the Athol Evans complex in Zimbabwe because it was so bright, sunny and fun. 


Wanting to be cool doesn’t stop at 30 – or 70…

The panelists also noted that many traditional adverts and products aimed at them were ugly – assuming that older people were no longer concerned with looking good or enjoying good design. Age UK, whose fundraisers we have produced design for, have championed positive images of older people for many years. We very much enjoyed putting this into practice for Best Mortgage Solutions, who wanted us to source fun and positive images of older people.


Consult the experts…

We can do all the research we want to determine what will best connect with our target markets but there is never any substitute for getting them involved in our marketing plans. Take a leaf out of Alive Venture’s book and ask your 65+ customers (safely) what would most appeal to them – whether that’s by joining local discussion groups on Facebook or setting up a zoom focus group with your local care home.


If you need design for a campaign, brand or product aimed at older people – whether you work in the commercial, public or third sector – we can help. Call our experienced team on 0208 590 0922 or email us at

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