Colour Contrast

Designing Information Material 4(1+3)

Lesson 8 : Colours

Colour Contrast

Once you have a better idea of the range of colors you’d like to use, it’s crucial to understand how important contrast is. Take a look at the following examples:


As you can see, the text in the examples above is not very readable. For some of you it may look ok, but for some people with color blindness or impaired vision it may be completely impossible to read. Also keep in mind the age of your users. 16 year-olds usually have better vision than people over 50.

Clashing Colours

In earlier days, a royal blue background with red and yellow text was very common . But these days designers need to pay attention to colors that may clash. See the example below:
Not good! Now check out the examples below:

g d

Much better, right?

Colours used in information materials must be easily recognizable. Therefore the information designer should use a light or a dark background colour appropriate to the content, and then use a colour with good contrast for the figure or text. The differences between colours must be clear and obvious.

The most legible combinations of print colours are black or dark brown text on a light yellow background. Black type on a white background gives the highest and most comfortable contrast for sustained reading.

Last modified: Saturday, 28 April 2012, 11:37 AM