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Take the Poll: Color Schemes in Presentations

December 28, 2010 Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations 

In Eloquent Science (p. 279), I made the argument that light-colored text on dark-colored backgrounds was preferable to dark-colored text on light-colored backgrounds for three reasons.

1. Red lasers (especially if the laser light is weak) may not show up well on white backgrounds.

2. Slides with white backgrounds lose contrast if the room is not dark enough.

3. Color to the slides is refreshing and not as tiring on viewers during long presentations.

Since I wrote the book, some people have disagreed with my assessment that dark-colored backgrounds are preferable. One issue was that people with dyslexia need strong contrast between the color of the text and the color of the background and white on black maximizes that contrast. Yet another Web page I found says that a light-colored background is preferable to white for dyslexia. Garr Reynolds says that dark text on light backgrounds work better in rooms that are not dark enough.

In contrast, Dave Paradi, The Office Lifeguard, doesn’t favor one or the other, as long as the contrast is strong and the colors provide the meaning you want to convey.

What do you think?

Which do you prefer: dark text on light backgrounds or light text on dark backgrounds?

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