Reverse Design Tip 9: Text doesn’t have to be black

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9: Text doesn’t have to be black

Many businesses, regardless of whether they’re adding text to a website, descriptive copy in a brochure, or even text as a logotype, stick with the default colour presented to them by their software program – black.

To some extent, I can understand why – black is perfectly readable (a pre-requisite for a piece of communication) and not to be sniffed at. However, what black is not, is distinctive or subtle. It is also more difficult to use black to communicate that extra bit of style or class.

Fortunately, it’s easy to make an instant improvement. How? Turn black to grey.

Stone & Water logo: black     Stone & Water logo: grey

We designed the Stone & Water identity for a small Lincolnshire based business, specialising in solid granite products. The impression of quality of the logo, along with the text example (below), were both improved by changing black to grey.

Dummy copy: black

Dummy copy: grey

So, the next time you’re commissioning a new website, a new a piece of marketing literature or even company pencils, just think, text doesn’t have to be black.

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Reverse Design Tip is an occasional series of short blog posts on improving design and marketing communications. It is aimed at SMEs, graphic design students and marketing professionals – anyone interested in making communications work better and look good.