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For readability, it's necessary to have contrast, but not necessary and even detrimental to have too much contrast. Therefore grey background and black text, or white background and grey text (like #383838) is better than white and black. This question goes into more detail, top answer (as this is an internal link I'm not going to summarise (plagiarise lol) ...


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I will take white content area for two reasons. Higher contrast between text and text area background. Grey background around text area make the text area optically raised. So the place for content will be more readily distinguishable.


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Just ask this question to yourself -- "what would I recognize as a place to type in? A white box? Or a dark box?" Since you are talking about a textarea where user has to type something, it is good to leave the input area lighter..


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The second example has less contrast between the text and the background. This will make the text harder to read than the first one. I would go for better readability.



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