An example how visibility adds to practicality

This is a good example of how design should not take over from being practical. Visibility is the key to success, and it certainly wasn’t applied here:

Has anyone looked at the train signs on the London to Brighton line recently? Last Saturday I was travelling late in the evening, and as the train stopped at Haywards Heath I looked out of the window to see where I was.

Having searched for some time I finally found the station name plate, only to find it was so illegible I could hardly read it. This was because the background was a dark green and the words ‘Haywards Heath’, although written in white, consisted of a slim typeface rather than a clear bold one.

This effect may look fine during the day, but becomes totally impractical by night, as the dark green became black, and the slim words melted so they could hardly been seen. Totally impractical for passengers who are unable to recognise the shape of the station buildings to know where they are.

Don’t succumb to the trend to reverse design around. Books have black words on white paper for a reason. A dark text on a pale background is so much better because it is both practical and more visible. Don’t alienate your customers through lack of proper visibility.


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