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Web design swatches

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Grant Smith, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Grant Smith

    Grant Smith New Member


    I'm very new to web design and I am wondering about colour swatches. In print there is a golden rule to use Rich Black rather then 100% k. I seem to remember reading something similar for web design, using a grey rather then black because it's easier to read on screen?

    So I am wondering, what colours are always included on your starting base template as a rule. Or maybe someone has come across a article on the subject I should read?


  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't say it's a golden rule to use rich black in print. Certainly for body copy you want 100% black only for litho printing, it may make a difference in digital printing where you only want 100% black print due to click charges. So there's no real rule about it.

    For printing it's rich black for litho printing for large blocks of black, or headline (newspaper style headings) there's no rule that you have to use it, but in a 4 colour piece you get a richer black rather than 100% black, and it depends on the hue of the cover, if it's an orange hue then a rich black made of 50m and 50y and 100k would give an orange hue to the black, or 100 cyan and 100k for a blue huey looking black.

    I've certainly never heard of it in web design... but then again I'm not a web designer.

    Grey can look cool though.
  3. Grant Smith

    Grant Smith New Member

    When I say rule, I didn't mean law, should have clarified. Everybody has a preference, and every printer I have worked with over the last 18 years has advised I use rich black rather then 100% k. However, I didn't start this thread to debate print design.

    Still very interested in web designers opinions on starting colour swatches
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    It depends on several things, such as the font, its weight, size, etc. Generally speaking I do prefer to use a 'deep grey' as opposed to a solid black for screen-text text because I find that it's easier on the eye and looks much nicer from a design point of view. Similarly for white backgrounds, white can be quite overpowering, so sometimes an 'off white (#fcfcfc for example) is a nice change.
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely right Grant. I was always taught to never use black in web design, use very dark grey but not 100% black. I don't really have a starting base as such, as I make my own different palettes from job to job.
  6. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Well you did say "golden rule", which is a maxim, which implies general truth.

    Being a print designer I just wanted to clarify what is meant by rich black just in case it appears through web searches.

    Back to our regularly scheduled topic so...
  7. Gareth-AWD

    Gareth-AWD New Member

    I agree, there's no golden rule. Just make sure the text is readable and you've got certain things to consider such as the DDA. A lot of web designers seem to forget that nowadays.

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