Colors and more colors

August 1, 2013
Chart Polish, Color Principles

Sometimes it’s hard to find that one particular color or set of colors that fit just right. You may also want to try other colors than the defaults.

Questions you may ask yourself are:

1. Should I use strong colors or soft pastels?

This usually depends on what it is you are intending to show.


For example the unnatural and strong colors such as red, green, orange, and purple can be used to draw attention. When these types of strong colors are used together the chart tends to be very vibrant and colorful.


Using softer unsaturated colors such as pastels or earthier tones can be used to blend in more.

Off course, some may find strong colors to be circus-like and prefer the unsaturated and sophisticated colors. Others may feel the opposite where they think that strong colors catches the eye with its boldness and find unsaturated colors to be dull. Finding the middle ground to start from is the best idea but also a challenge.

2. Where would I find a nice collection of colors?

One of my favorite color sites that I use all the time is On this site you’ll find over a million color palettes in all sorts of combinations that can inspire. This site also offers many tools to help create your own color palettes.


3. How would I know these colors would look good in my charts?

As long as you don’t mix unatural colors with natural colors, using either will look great. I usually browse through the color palette samples on to find colors I like. Usually, I’ll mix and match similar colors in order to create larger color tables. For example, the colors palettes below all work well with each other and could be combined into one large color table.


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