Please, no more white text on black background

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Please, no more white text on black background

Postby Marrea » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:53 pm

Could I possibly make a plea for no more white text on black background (the boxes in "Build your own distro", LXF74)?

It might look good design wise but it's uncomfortable to read, especially if you go straight from that to reading conventional black text on white background (or in this case, black on blue).

That aside, the article is fascinating and I am tempted to have a go at some stage, purely for the second reason mentioned on page 57 - learning experience.
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RE: Please, no more white text on black background

Postby jjmac » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:29 pm

Just curious...

Does the black background bleed into the text area, which can happen with that style. Or is it a font thing ie really thin courier perpends ?. The issue isn't over here as yet .au.


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Postby Smallenhofer » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:47 am

Hi all

Thanks Marrea for your request. Yes, white on black is the DTP equivalent of a cream cake – it looks good but we really shouldn't – so sorry that we indulged in it here (and as you'll see, in LXF75 too). I don't think we will do it again, especially not for articles such as Build Your Own Distro where you need to follow the text closely.

Jjmac – our excellent printers can (touch wood) avoid poor registration, where the individual printing plates and therefore colours don't quite line up and images and text look blurred. We tend to use fonts at a thicker weight, too, so that the black surrounding ink doesn't bleed into the white text. I suspect the white on black in Linux Format is more problematic from a readability point of view – some readers just find it too tiring on their eyes in large sections. If you're interested in the subject, seek out the findings of someone called Colin Wheildon.

Apologies again, and thanks for the feedback.

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Postby evilnick » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:58 am

Of course, the real reason we won't do it again is that I'm getting old and can't read the proofs anymore...
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Postby Nobber » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:00 pm

I just scanned the pages, loaded them into the GIMP, inverted the colours, and printed them out again.

No problem.
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Postby Marrea » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:22 pm

Nobber wrote:I just scanned the pages, loaded them into the GIMP, inverted the colours, and printed them out again.

No problem.


Goodness, I'm far too excited each time a new copy arrives to fiddle about doing that. I can't wait to tear the wrapper off and get stuck in !!

As hardly anyone else had commented on my post I was beginning to think it was just me and maybe I needed to pop down to D & A to get some inverted glasses. :lol:
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Postby Nobber » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:34 pm

Originally I was going to take pictures of the pages using a film camera, get the film developed, and blow up the negatives by projecting them onto a section of blank wall in my living room. However, the scan-invert-print method allowed me to use such free software favourites as xsane and the GIMP, so I opted for that instead. ;)
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Postby Marrea » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:41 pm

Smallenhofer wrote:If you're interested in the subject, seek out the findings of someone called Colin Wheildon.
Rebecca


Hi Rebecca

Following up your suggestion about Colin Wheildon, I have come across this (at http://aherncomm.com/free/wheildon_data.htm)

"Reverse type: A big zero
What printers and designers call "reverse type" is white text set against a black or colored background. Many designers seem to feel that reverse type makes no difference to the reader. They are catastrophically wrong, Mr. Wheildon's research found. Here's the science:
When text was printed black on white, readers reported good comprehension 70% of the time, fair comprehension 19%, and poor comprehension 11% of the time.
When text was printed white on black, good comprehension fell to ZERO, while poor comprehension rose to 88%.
Enough said? Not quite. After revealing this bombshell, I'm often asked, "Can I ever use reverse type?" Absolutely. Use it for secondary information, stuff that doesn't matter."


Very interesting !
However, surely there is nothing in LXF which could be put into the "stuff that doesn't matter" category. Every single word needs to be read, studied and inwardly digested. :wink:
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Postby Rhakios » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:38 pm

I have occasionally used white on black when producing a leaflet - reseved for bold headings it is quite striking and being large print is easy enough to comprehend. So there's another use.
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Postby jjmac » Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:42 am

hmmm, yes ... sometimes text isn't really meant to be read as such, it can take on an image context and so its impression becomes more important. Such as, flyers for an exhibition on old texts. But thats more of a design issue. Reversed text can be a bugger to print sometimes too. Still waiting for LXF74 so i haven't got a clue what it actually looks like (grin) too.

It can be curious, i get an interesting 3D effect when i look at a 'warm red' on a blue background. Through a magnifying glass that is. Depends on the contrast between the two.


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Postby jjmac » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:54 pm

Just found LXF 73 up the road, on page 53 there's some thing that might relate there. Seems the magenta has either failed to be masked out, or it was designed as such for effect. Quite a nice effect really, dosen't give me any problem, well, nothing that my magnifying glass can't fix. But a much larger text area would be a candidate for a wack of the 'ol headache medication ... (of choice, of course).

Page 69 has a major area with white on dark bluish/grey, no bleeding etc. Curiously, i think the font there is much better than the anorexic black on white style, but the background tends to distract while reading it. So i would prefer the white on black over that. It would be good to have a nice well feed black font too rather than the existing. Actually, that could just be an opticle illusion, on closer looking they seem to be much the same in terms of body. Not to worry, if you don't go blind one way, it'll be onother.


jm
http://counter.li.org
#313537

The FVWM wm -=- www.fvwm.org -=-

Somebody stole my air guitar, It happened just the other day,
But it's ok, 'cause i've got a spare ...
jjmac
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