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[web] Black Background vs. White Background

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Well, the recent site changes definatly influenced this question, but here it is anyways. For all legal documents, books, etc, its been widely accepted that useing a white background with black/dark text is preferable and more visually pleaseing. However, in the world of AutoCad, the universal setup is a black background with white lines/text. So... the question is, which color scheme should a web forum use? My vote is for light colored text on a black background as the majority of the space on a web forum is absent of text (similar to autocad). But, what do you guys think? [Edited by - Cygnus_X on November 27, 2005 2:23:19 PM]

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On Light-Emitting Devices (such as CRTS):
The background should be dark ('low luminosity') or soft('medium/low but significant saturation'), with dark being preferable to soft. Otherwise, the device is emitting many more photons than are healthy to stare at for any period of time, and significant eye strain is the result.
How bright backgrounds have become so popular is truly a mystery, and there is probably enough room for several doctorial theses on the subject. Maybe it started as an attempt to make a computer feel familiar by relating it to already-familiar paper.

On Passive (Reflective) Devices (such as paper):
Any completely desaturated(gray) background is fine, as long as there is significant contrast between the text and the background AND both (text and background) reflect light mostly in a diffused fashion so that neither appears shiny.
I have a few books where both the ink and paper are glossy, and that combination requires perfect lighting to read. At school, with overhead flurescent lighting, if the book isn't angled just right, the light will reflect off the book and make the page unreadable.

[Edited by - Extrarius on November 27, 2005 4:11:18 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by Extrarius
On Light-Emitting Devices (such as CRTS):
The background should be dark ('low luminosity') or soft('medium/low but significant saturation'), with dark being preferable to soft. Otherwise, the device is emitting many more photons than are healthy to stare at for any period of time, and significant eye strain is the result.

You do realize that a piece of paper viewed under a clear sky (not even under direct sunlight) reflects a lot more photons than even the strongest CRT can emit ? And I don't think that reading a book outside in summer is going to damage your eyes ;)

Anyway, regardless of all the emotions the GDNet switch has boiled up, it's not so much a question about the background colour. It's about how colours are used and combined on the page. The contrast, the colour bleeding of light emitting displays, and colour psychology. A site can be just as visually pleasing with a white background as with a black background, as long as the colours are chosen wisely and the layout fits them.

And over everything else, it's mostly personal preference.

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