Color Choice – Video Typography Essentials


Making the right text color choice can be surprisingly tricky. The truth is that typically only a few colors work well for text and remain clear to the viewer. The task is made difficult because you need to constrain color choice to meet broadcast standards and because text is often laid over a busy moving background. The use of a contrasting edge makes it easier to read text when laid over moving video.

Although it may seem a little boring, the most common color for text in video is white. Not surprisingly, the second most popular color is black. If a color is used, it tends to be in very light or very dark shades. Lighter colors that work well include light blue, yellow, gray, and tan. Darker colors that hold up include navy and forest green. Remember to keep your text towards the very dark or very light range, or contrast will become an issue when the text is placed over a motion background.

Type on Pattern

When creating text for video, the text will often be placed over a background that contains a full spectrum of color. Achieving proper contrast is the key to preserving legibility. Try applying a stroke, outer glow, or tight drop shadow to get a contrasting edge. The biggest problem with type and video is that there will always be light and dark elements in your scene. It is crucial to add a contrasting edge to any type that will be keyed over a full-chroma, moving background.

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