Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

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Katy133
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Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#1 Post by Katy133 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:08 am

Which is better/easier for players to read: Dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background. Is there a noticeable difference?
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#2 Post by Enigma » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:09 am

Katy133 wrote:Which is better/easier for players to read: Dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background. Is there a noticeable difference?
I myself prefer dark backgrounds, too much light can be hard on the eye. No offense to LSF, but the white and grey can be hard on my eyes sometimes I wish I could turn it to black and grey or black and gold or something.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#3 Post by Suika » Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:14 am

I find light text on dark backgrounds easier to read. I think black and gold or grey (as Enigma mentioned) is a comfortable contrast.

Granted, if a light background compliments the story's mood better then I prefer it over a dark background. Both are readable, dark is just easier.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#4 Post by Shinoki » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:31 am

I prefer a dark background to light text.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#5 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:36 am

Personally I prefer a dark background and light text.

This brings up an interesting point though. A lot of E-readers have options to switch between light or dark backgrounds and text.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to include the same in VNs, sometimes?

Doesn't sound too challenging to add.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#6 Post by Hazel-Bun » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:40 pm

That's an awesome idea Trick :) I tend to make/like my backgrounds lighter, and text darker, but a lot of VNs I play do the opposite.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#7 Post by Alte » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:20 am

For web design-

light text on a dark background
dark text on a light background

I've searched online for a simulation and this one appears to be accurate.
Ow my eyes
It may cause the eyes to strain for while until you scroll down the click on "this link" to invert the page color scheme.

I'm guilty for selecting this type of design for my project page and considering of migrating back to my original homepage.

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For visual novels-

Mostly consist of dark text on a light background. You do not have to follow this direction, it's just happens to be commonly used.
light text on a dark background

I wouldn't agree with this choice completely, since backgrounds are supported through transparency.

I made these examples below in NVL format with materials from the Public Domain as previews. (To view click on the image)

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The text is straight from a poem by Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken".
The background is from the Wiki Commons.

Don't forget the factor of contrast text support such as having a soft outline or a shadow. (The direction of the shadow are usually in the bottom right corner.)

Edit: I was typing this post while I was tired, I did correct what I meant to say. =_=
Last edited by Alte on Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#8 Post by Snowflower » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:02 am

I don't know if this matters to everyone, but for me... it totally depends on the design of the textbox interface.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#9 Post by Rossfellow » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:08 am

As a horror writer, it feels like dark backgrounds + white text is a mandatory thing. The only bright horror game I've seen would be Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#10 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:37 am

Wanted to mention that it's possible for text to have outlines.

This way the text will be readable, even if the font colour is similar to the background, if you are using a semi-transparent or invisible text box.

How this could be used
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#11 Post by ColaCat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:23 am

I agree with Snowflower - for me it really does depend on the textbox interface. However if I did have to pick one I'd probably go for dark on light. I don't know what it is about light text but often it almost seems to...glow. Unfortunately this makes it quite hard for me to read so that's why I prefer dark.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#12 Post by xavimat » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:06 pm

Alte wrote:For web design-

light text on a dark background

I've searched online for a simulation and this one appears to be accurate.
Ow my eyes
It may cause the eyes to strain for while until you scroll down the click on "this link" to invert the page color scheme.

I'm guilty for selecting this type of design for my project page and considering of migrating back to my original homepage
I prefer dark text on clear background (but no so clear, I have my screen always with low bright and contrast). But I also agree on the importance of the 'feeling' of the entire GUI according to the theme and style of the VN.

Another thing to consider is the font size. The example Alte has presented us is awful to read also because of the small text. A bigger text would be easier to read.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#13 Post by truefaiterman » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:16 pm

I'd go for dark backgrounds with white text, but the outlined text pretty much fixes everything to me.
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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#14 Post by Alte » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:21 pm

Re-reading my own post, I got it in reverse.

I really meant to say for web design, dark text on light background. I agree with xavimat that the text's font size does make a difference for readability.

When I mentioned about the text for the visual novel, it's actually light text on dark background that's common.

Outline text does remedy for either backgrounds.

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Re: Dark text, or light text--Which is better?

#15 Post by SelLi » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:08 am

truefaiterman wrote:I'd go for dark backgrounds with white text, but the outlined text pretty much fixes everything to me.
This.
If text doesn't have an outline, it can sometimes become illegible due to similar textbox or background colors. It really just makes sense to have it outlined.

Also, personally I prefer light text against a dark background.

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