I agree that this maybe be being taken to far. There's a time and a place for low-contrast smaller text, but certainly there are limits as well. It's mostly valuable for short labels containing non-critical information and the value it offers is, as Pau mentioned, communicating the difference of importance and priority of information on a page. Certainly the examples on the contrastreblion site are bad, but I don't think we were ever considering making the text content of our pages #CCCCCC.

I think the simple answer is "you better have a really good reason if you are using really light text on pure white". Probably best to limit it to #555 or so.

- Trevor

On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM, Isarra Yos <zhorishna@gmail.com> wrote:
On 10/11/13 10:01, Pau Giner wrote:
I think that both extremes have negative consequences.

Contrast is a tool for making more/less prominent what it is more/less important. If you make everything high contrast, or use a very similar grey palette for all text it becomes hard to communicate what it is more important and help users to perceive the visual hierarchy. Thus, the perceived complexity is increased.

they also make controversial choices like pure white text on a pure black background
Agree. Another interesting link on why to avoid pure black: http://ianstormtaylor.com/design-tip-never-use-black/

Amusingly, the text there is too light to be comfortably read, at least on my screen.

Really, though, it strikes me as a case of taking a thing too far. You do need to be careful when to use black, but there are also some pretty clear times when it is appropriate, and it comes down to the same principle of context as anything else, or any other colour.
With painting, shadows are a particularly strange example. They're almost never black unless the objects in shadow are black, sure, but thinking in terms of shadow colour instead of the colours of the things in shadow doesn't make sense for precisely that reason. All objects have their own colours, but it's the bits in light that stand out - they're the significantly brighter versions of the object colours, or the tinted versions if it's a coloured light. We only use black shadows in more abstract design because... well, why do we?
Because we don't have real light sources/colours? Because we can't think in raytracing terms with everything? Just imagine a future when all our 2D interfaces are rendered by raytracing so they have exactly precise lighting, even matching the external lighting conditions...

More to the point, I do find it a bit odd that folks are so afraid of black on white just in principle. How harsh is it really, with a good renderer? For issues of eye strain and such, is that really because of the palette? Or do perhaps the antialiasing, font itself, or size and boldness of the text have as much to do with it?

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