Enhancing contrast

This article was written in 2013. It might or it might not be outdated. And it could be that the layout breaks. If that’s the case please let me know.

A silly post I wrote resulted in a small discussion on Twitter—the perfect place for discussions. Some people said that enhancing the contrast of the monitor of the designer would result in even worse designs with even less contrast. Of course you could try this for yourself, but I’ll try to explain what happens, or what I think happens, when you enhance the contrast of your monitor.

Enhancing the contrast will result in less nuances. Light colours that are close to white will turn white, and dark colours will become black. With a monitor like that, which has less tones a designer will not be able to create very subtle shades, or very light backgrounds: they would be invisible. This automatically results in designs with more contrast.

Now, of course you shouldn’t manipulate the monitor of your colleague. You should explain why low contrast designs are a problem. It would be better if you could find an old, shitty monitor somewhere so the designer can view the work both on an excellent, and on a crappy environment.

And as a last remark: I love the work designers do and I think most of what I see is excellent. So no, I don’t think all designers love low contrast, on the contrary, most designers probably know what they’re doing. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll return to being a grumpy old man.