Re: thoughts on color

Subject: Re: thoughts on color
From: "Gutierrez, Diane" <Diane -dot- Gutierrez -at- WESTGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:18:00 -0600

You have raised an excellent example of poor use of color in documents by
using it to emphasize words where a type, italic or boldface would do. In
straight, undifferentiated text without graphics, that would be a disaster.
I don't know of established guidelines for color in writing, so am going by
visual design principles:

Color is used in grouping, such as all headings in bright blue, or to
differentiate, such as a blockquoted passage, to aid in finding, as in key
words, in reverse, as in chapter headings or numbers, as a background, as in
shaded boxes or pullquotes, as dividing lines or grouping outlines, to
distinguish a part in a diagram, to show directionality, to keynote a
passage using symbols such as "Caution" and "Danger", and many other
applications. Using only black and gray for this would certainly save
money, but it creates monotony. Color should make a document easier to look
at, easier to skim, and make the reader want to stay long enough to absorb
the ideas presented.

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