Fade To Black ?

When it comes to viewing web sites, what’s better?

A Black Background with White Text (White on Black – WOB)



White Background with Black Text (Black on White – BOW)


The Eye



There is  good argument to avoid white text in general, in terms of readability of paragraphs:


  • White or light colors reflect other light hitting them.  Therefore small white text on a monitor or LCD screen will reflect light, blurring it into adjacent text.  This becomes difficult to read and can cause eyestrain.
  • As any artist or designer knows, black is a color devoid of any amount of the three primary constituent colors: red, green or blue.  White on the other hand is produced by combining the maximum amount of red, green and blue.  The human eye has three types of receptor cones that respond to these three colors.  When a reader focuses on white text, all three cones are continually stimulated to maximum, potentially causing eyestrain for large amounts of text, or at least making it uncomfortable to read.

Actually, it’s a little better to use two colors that are not 100% contrasting.  That’s why grey on white (such as the text you are reading now or as you’ll see on bbc.co.uk) or black on light grey is slightly preferable than just pure black on white.  I think it just looks nicer as well.

For any photographers out there, there is also an argument for BOW (Black on White) to do with the eye’s exposure time.  See here    – (Peter McLennan’s post)

There are sometimes good reasons to use WOB or a bright font on a dark background;

  • When the text is a title, a link, or a menu item (i.e. not long paragraph text that’s going to be read) or an advertising banner/ highlighted area, that needs to get visitors’ attention.
  • When there is little or no light in the reader’s environment.  In this case, the overwhelming light background in comparison with the environment can cause eye strain, meaning it’s preferable to use a dark background behind a light or white text (in the case of a low light environment, this would also mean less light reflecting off the white lettering itself).  Many Ebook readers are designed to allow night mode with a dark background and light text.

LED Technology

Many devices these days use LED (Light Emitting Diode) or  AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology.

They basically work using an array of pixels consisting of a semiconductor producing it’s own light.  When electric current is passed through, they switch on which produces color.  Brighter color requires a higher voltage and more electrical energy.

It’s  likely that mobile device operating systems such as Android were designed with a predominantly dark theme background, not due to aesthetic or readability issues, but to make the device more energy efficient to preserve precious battery life. I noticed that one alarm clock App I recently downloaded offered a range of backgrounds but they were all dark !!

This shows how technology can sometimes influence color design of interfaces and text.


The Aesthetics

The color and feel of a site should symbolise the nature of what it represents.  A vampire site is almost obliged to be in black, such as this one (note the red and white text on black lower down the page)

Many night clubs and war games related sites are similarly set up with a dark theme.  Often, they are produced as a kind of an online flyer or leaflet as opposed to pages of content it intends people to read. In this case, color of text and background is more for feel and effect rather than readability, so a dark theme is understandable.

Personally, I think that a light color feel to a site should be a default.  It provides an open, warm setting.  A black color theme I would generally view as a little cold, closed and uninviting.  Tastes vary of course, but unless you happen to be a nightclub, a wargames company or a vampire movies fan site, then go with a light theme.  The site will appear more inviting and will be easier to read.

Happy Grey on White reading !

A source and further reading

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6 Responses to “Fade To Black ?”

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    작년12월부터 총판 수익금 526만원을 못받아서
    이렇게 먹튀 사이트에 글을 올리게 됐습니다,
    홍보를 꾸준히 해 오다가 홍보 방법이 막혀서 사전에 CAB운영진의 양해를 구해서
    7-8개월동안 홍보방법을 찾기위해 홍보를 못했습니다,
    그러다 올해 5월부터 홍보방법을 찾아서 홍보를 하다가
    도메인이 유해 사이트로 떠서 새로운 도메인 셋팅을 해 달라고 부탁드렸더니
    충분히 기다릴만큼 기다렸다고 도메인 셋팅을 안해주더군요,,
    홍보 준비하는 기간동안에 수익금은 500만원이 넘어 있었고,나는 정산금보다
    홍보를 계속하고 싶었는데,
    갑자기 도메인 셋팅을 안해준다고 하니,,,황당하더군요
    그래서 도메인 셋팅 안 해 줄거면 정산금을 정산해 달라고 햇더니
    “6개월반이나 기다려 아무성과가 없어서 정산금을 못주겟다네요,,
    그래도 5월에는 많지는 않지만 10여명정도 가입이 있었고,이제 어느정도 효과를 볼려고
    정산금 주기 싫어서 같이 일을 못하겟다고 하니,,,이게 먹튀가 아니고 뭔가요?
    내가 이렇게 글을 올리는것도 사전에 CAB운영진에 미리 얘기를 드렸고,마음대로 하라고 하면서
    관리자 비번과 텔레그램까지 차단했고,CAB 사이트에 자세히 알아보니,일반 유저 먹튀도 여러건 발견되어
    이대로 나두면 안되겠다는 생각이 들어 이렇게 글을 올립니다.
    일단 저와 제가 아는 동생이 CAB에서 놀았던 입금 계좌를 경찰에 아는분한테 제출을 할겁니다.
    지금 CAB을 이용하고 계신분이나 이용하실분들은 나중에 통장 계좌가 노출되어 경찰 조사를 받는일이
    없도록 CAB토토사이트 이용을 자제해 주시기 바랍니다,
    그리고 CAB토토 사이트도 상황이 복잡해지면 일반유저 먹튀도 예상되니까,
    가능하면 다른 사이트 이용을 부탁드립니다!!

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