Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting color and contrast, part of InDesign: EPUB Typography.
- Here, I'm referring to the actual color, not the term type color, as it refers to the type density. That's something that's determined by the leading, the letter spacing, and the stroke width. For a reflowable EPUB, the color of the background is determined by the user, but we can set the color of the type. And if you find the contrast of backlit screens a bit too bright, for a comfortable reading experience you might opt for a gray text. On the left, the text is in black.
And on the right, I'm using a dark gray, with RGB values of 75, 75, 75. Color doesn't cost more, but that doesn't mean we should overuse it. Color is best used sparingly, for accent. EPUB 3 Accessibility Guidelines recommend a Contrast ratio of seven to one between the text and the background. You can use the Colour Contrast Analyser tool to check the contrast of your color and background. I'll switch now to my InDesign document and that document with gray text that we saw.
Here is that gray. And if we go to it, we can see that this is its hex value. I'm going to copy that. Now switch to the Colour Analyser tool, where I will paste in the hex code. And we see that that passes with a Contrast ratio of 8.7 : 1. And if I want to, I can see details. In a fixed layout EPUB, if you put text over an image, as I have done down here, consider fogging the background of the text frame.
Make it white with an opacity of around 70%, allowing some image detail to show through, but at the same time, providing enough contrast for the text.
Note: While most of the lessons are centered on reflowable EPUBs, specific issues for fixed-layout EPUBs are called out along the way.
- Embedding fonts
- Considering legibility and readability
- Choosing font styles
- Scaling type
- Setting color and contrast
- Threading text
- Alignment and spacing
- Incorporating typographic details: drop caps, bullets, and more