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June 5, 2000 — 10 AM

It’s an argument that seems

It's an argument that seems to pop up now and then. What's better on a web site? Black text on a white background? White text on a black background? Something inbetween?

Joe Gillespie, creator of Web Page Design for Designers, offers his thoughts in a smart editorial on background colours and typography on the web. In it, he offers the technical justification for what I usually believe: that light text on a dark background is easier to read on a screen, and that lowering slightly the contrast between type and background is helpful (i.e., black on light grey is friendlier than black on white). This flies in the face of the tradition of print, where black text on white pages has dominated for, oh, the last 500 years or so. And trying to convince people that what works for print doesn't always work for a screen is a fun, neverending. battle. But, as Gillespie points out, why do you think movies and television almost always show credits in white text on black?


Previously: You don’t need a degree

Subsequently: Pardon me, I’m just eating.

June 2000
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