I've got a smaller banner ui (think 300 x 300px) which currently has solid black text on a white background. The text corresponds to new article titles, so it's really hard to place color on them that really applies to everything. The titles change every couple of seconds, so readability is a must. Black text on a white background makes it really easy to read, but it looks really boring and unprofessional. The entire square is just white with black words.

Is there anything I can do to spice it up, while maintaining the readability?

I tried changing the color to an off white, but it wasn't noticeable. I also tried adding a textured background of noise with a slight motion blur and then a texture of paper to make it seem more real, but it just was distracting and hard to read.

Here's an example:

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


You've got the right idea on keeping your contrast strong with plain white and black. Textures and shadows can distract a bit. I would try yellow text on black, or deep red on white. Yellow, Red and Green are typically the attention-grabbing colors used in "new! sale! free! shiny thing!" type elements...and as long as that same color isn't repeated around the UI, it should stand out. Here are two images that might inspire you a bit where contrast is used. Good luck!

Ride Four Ever


  • There are two different kinds of "Standing Out", one is the good kind where you have well designed content, and another is the bad kind because contrast is too much and is not pleasing to the eye. It would be helpful if you provided some examples of the color schemes you are talking about. You have to be careful with Red and Green combos, because it starts looking Christmas-y very quickly.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 19:31
  • 1
    Agreed! Green, Yellow and Red should not be used in combination with one another.
    – uxkidd
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 19:51
  • Could you provide some images that demonstrate your answer? That would be extremely helpful.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 20:20

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