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Typography for Web Designers
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Understanding how color affects readability


From:

Typography for Web Designers

with Laura Franz

Video: Understanding how color affects readability

When we talk about color, we can describe it in terms of hue, value and intensity. Hue is the color of the color. For example, the hue of this color is red. The hue of this color is blue. Value is how dark or light the color is. When talking about the pure color, blue and red are about the same value. The blue might be a little darker. Yellow is lighter in value and there are also darker and lighter versions of each color.
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  1. 6m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
    3. Things to consider before starting this course
      3m 12s
  2. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding how good typography promotes reading
      2m 9s
    2. Understanding legibility
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding how fonts convey meaning
      5m 19s
    4. Choosing web-safe fonts to convey meaning
      6m 13s
    5. Using font size, case, style, letter spacing, weight, and color to convey meaning
      6m 22s
    6. Choosing web fonts to convey meaning
      6m 23s
    7. Downloading web fonts
      4m 9s
    8. Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
      5m 47s
  3. 38m 0s
    1. Choosing a web-safe font for use in text
      4m 13s
    2. Applying the web-safe font to the text and the heading
      3m 4s
    3. Setting a class for the resource titles in the text
      3m 45s
    4. Choosing a second web-safe font for the heading
      2m 42s
    5. Applying the second font to the heading
      2m 16s
    6. Choosing a web font from the Google Font API for use in text
      5m 44s
    7. Adding and applying the Google Font API syntax
      4m 29s
    8. Choosing a second web font from the Google Font API for the heading
      2m 56s
    9. Adding and applying the second font to the heading
      4m 52s
    10. Analyzing the fonts on some professional sites
      3m 59s
  4. 55m 31s
    1. Understanding how we read
      4m 34s
    2. Finding and applying a good font size and line height
      4m 50s
    3. Finding and applying a good line length
      8m 6s
    4. Understanding ems
      6m 17s
    5. Using ems to set font size
      6m 9s
    6. Using ems to set line length
      3m 40s
    7. Understanding how color affects readability
      3m 58s
    8. Improving a color palette by improving contrast
      5m 39s
    9. Improving a color palette by reducing optical vibration
      4m 59s
    10. Analyzing text readability on the professional sites
      7m 19s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding how we "chunk" visual elements
      3m 59s
    2. Developing a system of hierarchy
      2m 17s
    3. Applying hierarchy in HTML and CSS
      7m 16s
    4. Developing a system to help chunk text for readers
      6m 1s
    5. Applying the system in the CSS
      4m 19s
    6. Changing an element by creating and applying a class
      5m 0s
    7. Using multiple columns to create hierarchy
      4m 12s
    8. Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS
      10m 56s
    9. Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout
      6m 1s
    10. Adding rule lines to improve chunking
      5m 50s
    11. Adding emphasis within a heading
      4m 36s
    12. Analyzing the chunking on the professional sites
      11m 18s
  6. 17m 57s
    1. Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
      7m 3s
    2. Understanding how to create rhythm and tension
      6m 0s
    3. Applying typography skills when making design decisions
      4m 54s
  7. 55m 47s
    1. Designing typographic links for the traditional page
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a list of links to the traditional page
      8m 44s
    3. Describing the link states in CSS
      6m 30s
    4. Returning links to their original "unvisited" style
      2m 38s
    5. Using different CSS for different kinds of links
      7m 28s
    6. Using CSS notation to organize syntax
      5m 34s
    7. Choosing a background color or image
      4m 0s
    8. Applying a repeating background image
      2m 58s
    9. Shaping the traditional page layout
      6m 38s
    10. Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites
      5m 23s
  8. 43m 0s
    1. Designing typographic links for the modernist page
      6m 47s
    2. Making a list of links run across the page
      2m 14s
    3. Adding and removing space between the navigation links
      6m 50s
    4. Styling the inline links on the modernist page
      5m 33s
    5. Choosing a background color or image for the modernist bibliography
      4m 4s
    6. Applying a no-repeat background image
      4m 13s
    7. Shaping the modernist page layout
      6m 58s
    8. Analyzing the modernist typographic elements on the professional sites
      6m 21s
  9. 52m 53s
    1. Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes
      6m 59s
    2. Fixing dashes
      6m 33s
    3. Working with lining figures (numbers) and acronyms
      9m 28s
    4. Fixing characters that don't look right
      8m 19s
    5. Hanging punctuation
      2m 54s
    6. Applying typographic accents
      2m 36s
    7. Vertically centering text
      5m 18s
    8. Creating drop caps
      5m 59s
    9. Analyzing the typographic details on the professional sites
      4m 47s
  10. 3m 9s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 9s

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Typography for Web Designers
6h 25m Appropriate for all Jul 14, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn how to choose fonts for a web site and create beautiful, legible type. Author Laura Franz shares how to create designs that maximize readability (and keep visitors on the page) by paying attention to details in size, line-height, line length, alignment, color, vertical space, and more. Laura also demonstrates how to incorporate web fonts, style type with CSS, and pick fonts that work well together.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how good typography promotes reading
  • Choosing web-safe fonts
  • Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
  • Adding and applying the Google Fonts syntax
  • Finding and applying a good font size, line height, and line length
  • Improving a color palette by improving contrast and reducing optical vibration
  • Understanding how people mentally organize, or chunk, visual elements
  • Applying a system of hierarchy in HTML and CSS
  • Applying vertical spacing in CSS
  • Adding emphasis within a heading
  • Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
  • Adding a list of links
  • Creating drop caps
  • Fixing quotation marks, apostrophes, and dashes
Subjects:
Typography Web Web Design Web Fonts Web Foundations
Software:
TextWrangler
Author:
Laura Franz

Understanding how color affects readability

When we talk about color, we can describe it in terms of hue, value and intensity. Hue is the color of the color. For example, the hue of this color is red. The hue of this color is blue. Value is how dark or light the color is. When talking about the pure color, blue and red are about the same value. The blue might be a little darker. Yellow is lighter in value and there are also darker and lighter versions of each color.

Pink, for example, is basically a very light version of red. Intensity is how bright or dull a color is. There are many version of the color blue and many version of the color red. Some versions are lighter, others are darker. Some feel more intense or bright. Others feel less intense or duller. Hue affects readability when color pairs used for text in the background vibrate.

This tends to happen when complementary colors are used. Complementary colors are the colors opposite each other on the color wheel. The color pairs purple and yellow, red and green, and blue and orange will vibrate more than other color pairs and the brighter the color pairs, the more they'll vibrate. Contrast also affects readability. If a background is too dark and the text to light, it can make the text sparkle. This is true even when working in black and white.

Using a slightly lighter background color can greatly improve readability. On the other hand, if there's not enough contrast between the background color and text color, it's difficult to see the words. The trick is defined a good balance between light and dark. Bright colors also affect readability. When bright colors are used on screen, they create a vibration or a sparkle. If colors are too bright, it can be almost painful to try and read them. If you must use a specifics hue, it's best to use a duller version.

You can try going darker or lighter. I often try using a grayer version of the color or browner version of the color. As you can see, not all the colors work for text, but it's always good to explore your options. You can find a variety of hues, dark, light, bright and dull, at the Hues Hub. Looking only at the color blue, you can see they have green blues, blue greens, blue blues, and blue purples.

The color options are laid out from light to dark and from dull to bright. One of the reasons why like this site is if I know I need a darker or a lighter color or a brighter or a duller color or even a slight shift in hue, for example, from this blue to this blue, I can try the colors in the Hues Hub that are around the color I'm already using. Color makes a difference in the readability of text. It's worth paying attention to.

Even a slight shift in color can change the overall feeling of the page. You can make the page feel warmer or cooler, elegant or playful. You'll notice in all of these examples I was able to shift the feeling of the page by changing the single color. I recommend using color sparingly. Think of color like cologne or perfume. It's hard to pay attention to and enjoy a movie when the person behind you has too much cologne or perfume on, and it's hard to read and enjoy a text when it has too much color.

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A: Discover more about this topic by visiting graphic design on lynda.com.
 
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