Have any font and color combinations been proven to be best for on-screen reading?

8 replies
Anyone know of any studies on this? (I once heard black text on an off-white background was best... but I have no idea if this is actually true).
#color #combinations #font #onscreen #proven #reading
  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Testing and tracking for your niche is the best way to figure it out.

    What I can tell you is more important is consistency.

    For example, if your website makes it's links in blue then all your links need to be blue and all the same color blue or it does confuse your readers.

    Be consistent across the board with what you decide.

    "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

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  • Profile picture of the author Tad 100
    You can find plenty of studies about this topic which folds under UX category.

    Now about the black & white you’ve asked. Using black text on white background makes your site clear and easy to read. Reading black text is so natural because we are used to it.

    For example, blue color is considered as a link because it was from the start and again we are used to it.

    So, use black text and white background unless you want to distract people from getting your message.

    David Ogilvy tested black and white text and shared results on his book.

    I have to agree that testing is the best way to figure out but you have to pay the price. I know that most of the people suggesting testing as solution never done it themselves. Most small and midsized businesses can’t afford that. So I would advice to stay realistic and stick with what have been tested and proved to work till you make some money and slight change in design can bring you 2-5% growth.

    You don’t want to distract or confuse your reader. Don’t make them think.

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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    This is a good question. I can only summarize some ideas that i've learned on my own:

    - Black text on a white background is usually best (but not in all cases)

    - The color yellow is appealing and stimulating to the eye. So having black text on a white background.... with an overall yellow background on the page has shown to improve my sales in some cases

    - Use the color red to highlight the most important parts of your sales letter that you want your reader to grasp

    - The color blue is best for links

    - When clicking on blue links, they usually turn to purple links after the first click. This is good for record keeping for the visitor, but you have to make the decision as to whether or not you want to make the link remain blue after clicked, or to remain in default purple

    - Even with all of these tricks..... nothing beats solid copywriting. So focus on this mainly
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  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    Hey James, you already got some pretty good responses for the question of color combinations, so I'll just contribute with a bit of info regarding fonts.

    For readability, if you want to use sans-serif fonts I personally recommend the following:

    - Verdana (my favorite)

    - Helvetica (default font for the Warrior Forum's discussions)

    - Arial (classic but a bit on the "thin" side

    For readability, if you want to use serif fonts I personally recommend the following:

    - Georgia (my favorite)

    - Times New Roman (beaten to death but it works)

    - Garamond (letters look a bit thin but the design is elegant and still fairly readable)

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  • Profile picture of the author DeadRooster
    I agree with and recommend you take the advice of the previous comments, but one thing I strongly suggest FOR EVERYONE READING THIS is staying away from light text on dark backgrounds. Once you hit 40-years-old or so, that is MURDER on your eyes.
    Get my latest book! Available in both paperback and Kindle
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Another thing is to make the font big enough to read easily. What looks good on a 32" hi-res monitor in a designer's office will make people squint on a smaller screen, especially with the growth of people reading on tablets and phones.

      Here's an example of different font sizes.

      Here's an example of different font sizes.

      Here's an example of different font sizes. Standard for WF

      Here's an example of different font sizes. Easier to read.

      Here's an example of different font sizes. Good for subheads.

      Here's an example of different font sizes.

      Here's an example of different font sizes. Good for headlines.
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  • Profile picture of the author publicworks
    Actually many men many minds. The simple color & fonts is best. White or, Off-white bg with black font is the best one in my view. Font size may be 12. Thank you very much.


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  • Profile picture of the author tc888
    Here's a tip. It doesn't matter if your text is white on black or black on white, as long as it's readable and mobile optimized it's fine. If you want a massive click through rate have two links, one above the fold, one at the end of your content. Make them bold and a larger font and include the words "click here". I get CTR's of over 75% doing this.

    Simple, clean banner free layouts work best.

    If many of your visitors are aged 50+ then a larger font is a good idea. A lot of older people have trouble reading small fonts.
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