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Body Copy Styling

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by mandarcy, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. mandarcy

    mandarcy New Member

    Hello everybody, I'm new here and this is my first post!

    I was just wondering what the general thoughts of body copy design are amongst designers?

    I'm designing a website and the new marketing woman has 'stated' that body copy should 'always' be black text on a white background! (I know this company very well by the way, I do all their stuff including the original website)

    Obviously I'm well aware that copy should be very clear and easy to read like any decent graphic designer would. I choose the colours carefully to provide enough contrast and of course take into account the typeface choice, tracking, leading, line lengths, etc etc.

    Also, I think that black on white works well in print but if there is loads of copy, but I think it can actually be a bit fatiguing on the eyes when staring at a screen which is effectively a light source! I prefer at least a very subtle light grey background to soften it.

    What do others think?

  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I think leave your preferences to one side and do what the client wants.

    You can show them mock ups and let them make their mind up.

    You can break large blocks of text with spacing, increased leading, etc. and make sure it doesn't run to more than 75 characters per line.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I can only assume that maybe they say that 'body copy should 'always' be black text on a white background' to maybe coincide with their brand guidelines?

    Although funny enough, that reminds me of a time many years ago, when I was a university student, I worked for a web design company who said 'you should never use 100% black as a colour, as it looks unprofessional.' Or something along those lines. So whenever I used the colour black in a design or text, it would be like 95% black at the most.
  4. mandarcy

    mandarcy New Member

    Hi thanks for the responses, just interested to hear thoughts on this.

    It’s not part of their existing brand guidelines or anything, that’s why I mentioned that I know them well. :icon_smile:
    This woman is new and it just kind of felt like she was trying to tell me how to design!! Mind you, I’ve had similar experiences before with marketing people!!

  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I very rarely use black text for screen-reading because the contrast is often so high it can hurt your eyes. I tend to use a dark grey and sometimes a very pale grey for the background, but what do I know, I just do this for a living :p
  6. mandarcy

    mandarcy New Member

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the response, yes that's exactly what I prefer to do myself. I think it is easier on the eyes than full on black and white :icon_smile:

    Kind Regards
  7. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Ask them why they feel it should be that way and argue your case for why you do things the way you do them. Show examples/comparisons if possible. It's likely when they say black on white, they mean just dark on light.

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