which gray is best for print?

Kent kstewart at owt.com
Sat Sep 6 17:56:42 UTC 2008

On Friday 05 September 2008 08:36:45 pm Gary Kline wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 05, 2008 at 10:38:59PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> > On Fri, 5 Sep 2008 13:06:01 -0700, Gary Kline <kline at thought.org> wrote:
> > > 	I'm still open to the bg color.  The display white is not true,
> > > 	paper-white.  Anyway, pretty sure the ink+paper publishers have
> > > 	their own [[ BETTER ]] ideas.  I'm looking for what looks good on
> > > 	the web.
> >
> > You can't look at the Web, you're looking at a monitor or at a sheet
> > of paper. :-) The same color may look different on
> > 	* a CRT type monitor
> > 	* a LCD type monitor
> > 	* a hardcopy done by a color laser printer
> > 	* a hardcopy done by a color ink pee printer
> > 	* ...
> 	So you're saying that the "white" on my [monster] CRT is not the
> 	same as on a future LCD Display?  rats:)  --I can't see much
> 	difference in my new laserjet from my HP500 DeskJet, but then it
> 	wasn't a main concern ... .

How do you have your digital camera set to color correct for white? Your eyes 
automatically compensate. Look at a photo taken in tungsten light, without 
automatic white balance turned on and then, view it or print it in raw mode 
so that you see the real world and then, compare it with what you saw.

Most monitors have a color temperature setting, which determines how the 
displayed colors are shifted. IIRC, our eyes peak at 5500 (a yellow green??), 
which is the color temperature of the sun.

> > This is due to the nature that these devices use different color
> > spaces (RGB, composed additively, CMY, composed negatively), and
> > most of them even aren't calibrated. GRB and CMY are parts of the
> > CIE specified space (see CIE diagram), but they don't have all the
> > colors in common. There are colors you can show on a CRT, but you
> > cannot print them 1:1.
> 	I took all 5 quarters of physics, like most of us, but never got
> 	far into optics.  And certainly, nothing like *this*.  the
> 	quality of my writing is much more important that the colors of
> 	typeface or background.  But this is an interesting side-bar.

But the ability of people to read it is an important consideration. I hate 
those web pages with dark backgrounds that I have to use the mouse to select 
the text so that I can read it. I am a speed reader and basically see words 
as images. Dark backgrounds strain my eyes and I can't read as fast as I can 
with dark text on light backgrounds. I get bored really fast when I start 
reading at 150-200 wpm instead of my normal 700-1200 wpm.

> > Anyway, the best reading contrast - black on white - looks boring
> > on the web, and it stresses your eyes (too much light reflected /
> > emitted). Furthermore, if you select a dark color for the background,
> > LCD type monitors (that have a minimal light emission even if the
> > color is pure black) may look too light, while a CRT type monitor
> > may display the color as dark as you intended (because when it's
> > black, the CRT does not emit any light, unless, of course, the
> > base brightness is needlessly adjusted above the zero point).
> >
> > So much for physics, kids. :-)
> 	Really!  So far, in my tests [staring at a CRT], I find an
> 	off-white reads most easily against a very dark blue. 000033;
> 	or whatever 333366 is.  Still experimenting.

IIRC, dyslexics have a much harder time reading when the background is dark.


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