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BS: Unreadable print colour combinations

Will Fly 07 Nov 18 - 05:30 AM
JHW 07 Nov 18 - 05:56 AM
Jos 07 Nov 18 - 05:57 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Nov 18 - 06:16 AM
Jack Campin 07 Nov 18 - 08:23 AM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Nov 18 - 07:47 PM
robomatic 07 Nov 18 - 08:57 PM
Thompson 07 Nov 18 - 10:56 PM
leeneia 08 Nov 18 - 01:30 AM
Mr Red 08 Nov 18 - 04:55 AM
Jon Freeman 08 Nov 18 - 05:51 AM
robomatic 08 Nov 18 - 10:06 AM
Tattie Bogle 08 Nov 18 - 10:36 AM

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Subject: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 05:30 AM

There seems to be a trend in the world of print to occasionally use colour combinations which are virtually unreadable, such as pale yellow against pale grey or some similar combination. Sunday colour supplements are often the containers for these pages.

What are the editors thinking about? I've got reasonably good eyesight but struggle to make head or tail of the text. A case of style over utility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: JHW
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 05:56 AM

I've wondered about this. Not uncommon in mags that arrive from various mamberships. All I can do is turn over the page and think 'if they wanted me to read it they'd have made it readable.'
I did pass the Isihara? colour blindness test donkeys ago before being an electrical engr.
Page layout can be a problem too. Items competing for attention so you can't concentrate on any. A reporter friend years ago explained how subeditors grade items and lay them out so this doesn't happen. Perhaps as everyone does their own thing now on screens this expertise has been lost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Jos
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 05:57 AM

I have found the same problem in local papers. The result is that I no longer buy them, their loss of revenue having nothing to do with the internet in my case.
Maybe editors who are struggling with falling sales should pay more attention to making their product readable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 06:16 AM

I'm having the same problem with the Lomax recordings site
I need the listings which are in varying shades - copy and paste leads to chaos
I have settled for capturing the images with lightshot (any screen capture programme will do) and Dropping it on my graphics programme to adjust it
I can then usually OCR it is if want a workable document
Sounds a little long-winded, but it has saved me a lot of time so far
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 08:23 AM

This kind of unreadable design was popularized by "Wired" magazine in the 1980s. They don't do it any more but they've left a trail of followers who think it's still the groovy way to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 07:47 PM

Our new public Library is an architectural marvel with an enormous skylight & no obvious lights - so when I pick up a book with an interesting title I often put it back as the blurb on the back cover is unreadable, just like computer screens!
10 book cover rules unfortunately doesn't mention the back cover.

Some expert in our state Motor Registry recently decided number plates would be the same length, but a bit narrower & have black letters on a white background, instead of the decades old black on yellow, making them harder to read.

rant over


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 08:57 PM

Just throwing this out there, I'm a know-it-not but don't let that get in my way, because (child-like idiot voice here) "I'm an American Optimist! We can figure it out later!"

Some color combinations I run into on line might be there to make it harder to do a copy-and-save off of a bit of prose the provider would like to have proprietary rights on but doesn't have a sophisticated web master who can code it in that way.

Some weird color combinations might be a product of the program used to create the web page. And no one has bothered to check (again with lack of good web master).


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Nov 18 - 10:56 PM

First done, I think, in Oz magazine; however I'll probably be contradicted by someone who can produce a 1930s version, and back it'll go to the Book of Kells.

It happens when the designers get away with it. Designers basically think the words are just there to be used to show off their brilliance.

Only possible solution is to find the online version, if there is one, and select-all, copy and paste into somewhere you can save the damn thing as plain text.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 01:30 AM

At the library I always collect half-a-dozen mysteries for nighttime reading. If a book is so dark that I can't read the title on the spine, I pass it right up.

Marketers ought to think about that. Probably a lot of people do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 04:55 AM

Some colour combinations are complimentary which means, according to an ex-girlfriend, they have similar intensities. If you converted to greyscale they would be almost a homogenious blob. Like:

yellow and navy blue
cyan with red
=  or even:
cyan and orange (gawd!)
magenta in yellow

It will depend on the precise shades, your computer screen or in the case of print, the ambient lighting, and how glossy (AND that another thing!).
And of course we all see colours a bit differently. Not to mention the lexicon we have been exposed to. eg are European robins really red? The answer is yes, until the orange fruit became popular then we had a word for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 05:51 AM

I also passed a colour blindness test (just for factory shop floor work but some tasks involved wiring) but I don’t think that makes any difference. I think that as we age, we tend to need greater contrast to read. I’d guess that what might look quite readable to a younger editor could be a bit harder for me.

I’d guess another factor with print could be the lighting used to view the document. A “daylight white” might bring the contrast out better than a “warm white”.

--
This seems more focused on designing an app as the main example but some might find this interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 10:06 AM

According to my father, color blind soldiers were used in the army to spot camouflage. Wonder if that has any modern online applications.


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Subject: RE: BS: Unreadable print colour combinations
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Nov 18 - 10:36 AM

At a slight tangent from the this, the effects of coloured lighting on legibilty or colour appreciation/ interpretation are not always considered.
Someone who usually sang from songsheets, with chords typed in red, was totally banjaxed by overhead red lighting: the chords on his carefully typed sheets just disappeared!
And at our local folk club, the raffle becomes slightly farcical as there are red, green, blue and yellow individual downlighters over the stage. And the raffle tx are usually pink, peach, orange, pale blue and pale green, but look entirely different colours under these lights! More than once the wrong person has claimed a prize when the wrong colour has been attributed to the ticket!
Colour blindness of the red-green variety and blue-yellow are commoner in males than females too.


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