On-screen legibility

21 Mar 2006 - 11:07am
550 reads
John Vaughan - ...

>In order to have good on-screen legibility... a dark background screen is
>recommended with light
coloured text. ...Do you know of any references on the subject or do you
know the possible reasons for it?

Basic Perception:

Light/bright dominates. It is easier to find a star in the dark night sky
than to find a dark dot on a sheet of white paper.

Light/bright "blooms". esp. In a back-lit lightsource-driven environment,
like a TV or computer monitor, light images visually "grow" and "bleed" onto
darker backrounds. ("The camera adds ten pounds..."). Text that is
white-on-black appears more robust than the same size text that is

Contrast is the ultimate determinant.

For a presentation in a dark environment, light-on-dark is probably the
safest bet. In a dark environment, your audience has already adjusted their
eyeball-aperture for darkness. Dark-on-light is probably

John Vaughan
The Communication Studio LLC
website: http://www.jcvtcs.com
Voice: (973) 265-4684

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