Black should be black
Every now and then I hear designers say that black should not be black. That instead of using
color: black; you should use something like
color: #666;. I heard people defending this argument by saying that in real life black is never really black. The ink in a book? Not really black. A black t-shirt? Not really black. The colour of my phone? Not really black. So, we argue, since black things are not really black in real life, they shouldn’t be black on our screens.
I don’t get it.
I think we should make black things black on our screens. The reason why black things are not really black in real life is not because we don’t want them to be black. It’s because it’s really, really hard to make things really black. We definitely want black t-shirts. We just don’t know how to make them. Of course we want the ink in our books to be black. We just haven’t figured out how to do that. On the web it’s pretty easy though. Just use
color: black; and you’re done.
Ironically, the colour you’ll see on your screen when you use
color: black; is probably not black at all. That’s because, indeed, it’s really, really hard to make things really black.