Good and Not So Good Ideas of chart design – Complementary Colors

November 3, 2014
Color Principles, Design Approaches

Not A Good Idea: While using Analogous colors that sit next to each other look nice, colors used this way are not very functional. For example, it’s nearly impossible to identify a specific color of a label shown. If using a Legend, how do you easily identify which Label matches which slice?


Or in the example below the slice color of label 3 is lighter than label 2 but darker than label 4 and yet they’re all light green.


A Good Idea: Here a better idea is to use complementary colors that sit opposite each other in the color wheel for more contrast. It doesn’t have to be completely contrasting colors but having a greater range of brightness and darkness of like colors is preferable for contrast.


For more details on colors, see the following link:
Analogous or Complementary colors?

Stay tuned for more tips on design approaches! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at


Comments are closed.