Monday, February 16 2009


Q: What happens when you print white text on a black background?

A: The black ink bleeds into the letters, making them thinner and obscuring fine details. The extent of this problem depends on the specific printing technology, but a good rule of thumb is to use bolder fonts when you do white-on-black.

Q: What happens when you print white kanji, really small, on a light gray background that’s constructed as a color halftone?

A: Garbage.

This unprocessed scan covers 1/3 of an inch of the original page in the liner notes. You could improve it with some contrast enhancement, but the halftone artifacts are bigger than many of the strokes in the characters, so you can’t do any significant descreening.

white kanji on light gray halftone

The text shown, by the way, reads:

声聴くと ブ