Oct 31st 2011 4:24PM

Video is really, really good at showing motion and emotion. It's not so good at displaying text.

One of the discouraging facts of life is that we create all these great graphics on our computers only to see them destroyed when they get transfered to video. (Well, OK, maybe not destroyed, but really, really different.)

Is there anything we can do to change this situation? Well, um, no. But, there are things you can do to improve the look of your graphics and text when they are displayed on video. And that's what this technique is about:

  1. Avoid lines thinner than 4 pixels, they will flicker
  2. Avoid lines that are almost horizontal or almost vertical, they will stair-step
  3. Avoid fancy, curvy fonts like Harrington, Chancery, or Savoye
  4. Avoid fonts with very thin bars or serifs, such as Engravers, Baskerville, or Modern
  5. Avoid point sizes smaller than 24 points
  6. Avoid saturated colors, use the Vectorscope if you are unsure
  7. Avoid whites brighter than 92% (235 in PhotoShop)
  8. Always use drop shadows on any text you want your viewers to read
  9. Always keep any text you want viewers to read inside Title Safe
  10. Keep text on screen long enough for you to read it three times.

Larry Jordan

AuthorDaniel Collins