Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Colours: Don’t Make Them Play Vanishing Tricks With Your Text

The following tips will help make sure you don’t inadvertently make your page, or part of your page, invisible to visitors:

1. If you use a textured background GIF make sure you also specify a background colour that is similar to the main colour in the GIF or your text could be unreadable to someone browsing with text-only. Believe it or not, I have found myself trying to read white text on my browser’s default light background! The fact that I had specified a default background colour rather than white was the only way I realised there WAS something there to read.

2. If your background texture/colour is dark, use a light text to create enough contrast to make it easy to read. If the background texture/colour is light, use a dark text.

3. Keep your use of the brighter colours to a minimum: fluorescent green or yellow text on black, for instance, is very hard on the eyes. If you favour a black background, use such effects sparingly–say to draw attention to your email address. Bright coloured backgrounds are also hard on the eyes–not to mention the fact that finding a good contrasting text colour (apart from black or white) is almost impossible because bright colours are often neither dark nor light.

4. Preferably use the same background texture/colour on all your pages as it gives a more unified feel and appearance to your site. However, if your chosen colours clash badly with, say, the colours in an important graphic or photo on one particular page, by all means change the background for that one page.

5. If you change the link colours from their default settings (for instance, the green and blue of Internet Explorer and the green and purple of Netscape Navigator) because they clash with your chosen colour scheme, then keep these link colours consistent throughout your site or visitors will have trouble working out which links they have been to and which they haven’t. If you’ve used colour to enliven your text in other places, they may even have trouble working out what’s a link and what isn’t.

6. Don’t specify the same colour for visited links as for unvisited ones: this will confuse visitors just as much as using different link colours on each page.

L A Barker Enterprises.

Laraine Anne Barker writes fantasy for young people. Visit
her web site at for FREE stories
and novel excerpts. Sign up for the NOVELLA OF THE MONTH
CLUB, absolutely FREE!

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