Color contrast by science

The article will explore the meaning of color and how to differentiate color in information layers.

Contrast between the foreground and background is one of the most important factors for the ease of reading. If colored text is used on a bright background the contrast will be weak, for optimal contrast results is white text against dark colored backgrounds. In signage & wayfinding design color is the combining factor to harmonize the sign with the environment. Color programs will distinguish signs from each other and can offer an indication of the message without having to be able to understand the language of the sign.

The formula is based on the light reflectance (LR) readings in percentages for each of the two colors involved. By subtracting the darker color from the lighter color, divided by the difference by the lighter, and multiplying by 100, we get brightness differential. When the brightness differential is 70 percent or higher the legibility is assured. When it is less, the legibility cannot be assured and those colors should not be using in that combination.

From: Arthur & Passini

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