Black vs. white backgrounds

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Posted by Steve Price on May 09, 1999 at 06:35:34:

Dear Jerry,

You raise the question of whether rugs look better printed against black backgrounds or white. Two books that have substantial numbers of rugs on black backgrounds are Azadi's "Carpets in the Belouch Tradition" and Azadi/Andrews' "Mafrash".

The rugs in the first book look dull, those in the second look wonderful. Is it because of the generally somber palette of the Belouch compared to that of the NW Persian? That was my initial reaction. But it probably is because the Belouch book used matte paper, the NW Persian pictures are on glossy paper.

There is one interesting instance of the same rug done in the same scale on both backgrounds. A Bergama rug is on the cover and title page of "Mideast Meets Midwest". The cover is a very glossy black, the rug looks spectacular. The title page is magazine-gloss white. The rug looks OK, but not nearly as striking as it does on the cover.

So here's your answer from my vantage point: it depends.


Steve Price

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