RE: - addendum

by "Webmaster at WebWham" <webmaster(at)>

 Date:  Sat, 8 Aug 1998 18:57:56 -0400
 To:  "Craig T. Harding" <guide(at)>,
"Critique List" <hwg-critique(at)>
 In-Reply-To:  ao
  todo: View Thread, Original
This (taken from your informative post) seems to go against what you
indicate below, as well as all the other references made:

"      Influences of Contrast Sensitivity on Text Readability in the
 Context of a Graphical User Interface
 Benjamin A. Parker, Stephen F. Austin State University
 Contrast polarity may influence how well the stimuli of a GUI are
 perceived. Positive contrast refers to light shades of text on darker
 background shades; negative contrast refers to dark shades of text on
 lighter background shades. Lalomia and Happ (1987) assert that displays
 which use negative contrast are less effective than those that use
 positive contrast; thus, maximum flexibility in creating effective GUIs
 can be achieved with light text on dark backgrounds.
       Degree of contrast is perhaps one of the most influential factors
 on the readability of text within a GUI. Lalomia and Happ (1987) suggest
 that the least effective foreground/background combinations are those
 with low contrast, such as light text on light backgrounds. High
 contrast foreground/background combinations, such as light text on dark
 backgrounds, increase effective presentation."

It appears, by this study, that light on dark does work...

Why are ship's radars using a black background with white blips? Why do
air-traffic controllers use radarscopes with similar white on black objects?

I had the chance to visit the control tower at the Toronto Pearson
International Airport (about 6 years ago), and if I had to work a 10 hour
shift, starring at black on white, there would be a heck of a lot of mid-air
collisions occurring on my shift!

I can spot a white object on a black background (and define detail to you)
faster than I can spot a black object on a white background.

[just my 2 cents of vision]

Gil Tennant
Webmaster at WebWham

Creating fine web sites like the Williamsburg Community Web Site:

> Dear Tynee,
> To avoid being off topic and answering off-topic "critique the
> critiquer" posts, I'll make this an addendum to my original critique
> concerning black backgrounds.
> Here might be some additional and more compelling reasons to avoid the
> cliché use of black backgrounds with light text. I'm sure that there are
> counter arguments, but I could find little. Again, understand that the
> previous was my opinion and that below are other opinions and that often
> people who complain about my denigrating black backgrounds have those
> backgrounds and need to justify their use. Make up your own mind. I'll
> say no more on the subject until another critique. Off-topic "critique
> the critiquer" posts can be very tedious and lead to back and forth
> flaming.

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