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Common Design Flaws: Text and Color

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When you sell with words, the text should be designed to communicate.

Pretty obvious, right?

Well, some people make choices that work in the opposite direction. They choose fonts, colors and layout designs that hinder rather than enhance communication.

I’m going to touch on just a few tips here relating to background colors and font color. There have been a number of studies that back up the information that follows. If you’d like more detailed background info, I highly recommend reading “Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes” by Colin Wheildon.

1) Black text set on shades of grey makes for difficult reading.
2) Dark text on color tints makes for difficult reading.
3) Brightly colored text on light color tints is “the enemy of comprehension.”
4) Don’t use reverse – white or light text on a black or dark background. Especially with bigger chunks of text. People just can’t comprehend and retain the information very well.
5) Contrary to some “old school” assertions about black text on white background, it’s ok to put black text on light color tints. The light color can attract attention, in fact. Just don’t let the tint get too heavy. The darker the tint gets, the more reader comprehension suffers.

From “Type & Layout”:

“It is impossible to avoid the fact that comprehensibility of colored text increases as the color gets closer to black.”

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  • http://vsivakumar.wordpress.com Sivakumar

    Nice article. Well done. Can you also include some example look and feel from somewhere?

  • http://www.qualitywriter.com Phil Dunn

    Here’s a good example that was part of Google’s April Fool day joke: http://cadiesingularity.blogspot.com/