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Choose a Palette for Infographic: Tips from Professionals

Infographic is a great help in presenting important but hard to perceive data and facts. Like other visuals, infographic must be comprehensible. That’s why it is important to choose the right color palette. Samantha Zhang, a senior UI designer of Graphiq, share tips on choosing the right color combination. Read and keep in mind!

‘While good color palettes are easy to come by these days, finding the right color palette for data visualizations is still quite challenging,’ says Samantha. She sees three main problems in color choice.

1. Most of color palettes are not designed for visualizations. They are not varied enough in brightness and hard to perceive. For instance, Flat UI Colors colors are widely used by developers, but they are difficult to interpret in data visualization, especially by those who are color blind.

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 1  Flat UI Colors palette 

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 2  Flat UI Colors palette 

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 3  Flat UI Colors palette 

2. Many existing palettes do not have enough colors. Samantha provides an example of Color Hunt and its 4-color palettes. ‘While they are good color palettes, they are not flexible enough to present complex data series’. Infographics usually need 6-12 hues.

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 4 Color Hunt palettes

3. Colors in palettes are often indistinguishable by brightness. Especially if they are used together.

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 5 Color Hunt palettes

How to Choose Right Colors for Infographic

Samantha shares three rules that you should follow while choosing your colors.

1. A wide range in hue and brightness

Colors in a palette should differ by brightness. If you want to know whether your palette is varied enough, see how it looks in Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and black-and-white format.

And don’t forget about hues: the more you have, the easier infographic is perceived.

2. Choose natural color combinations

Samantha takes two palettes as an example: transition from light purple to dark yellow and transition from light yellow to dark purple. ‘From a purely mathematical standpoint, color progressions are similar,’ says Zhang. But it is wrong. The second is easier to grasp because people often find these colors in nature, for example, during sunset.

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choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 8  Photo Jon Sullivan 

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 7  Photo Kyle Pearce 

3. Use gradients to choose colors

According to Samantha, gradients help a lot to choose right colors. Use Photoshop to make a proper choice.

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In conclusion, she gives examples of good color palettes made by Graphiq.

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choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 11

choose-color-palette-for-infographic-tips-from-professionals - 12

Tips from professionals are always helpful. But Samantha’s tips should be kept in mind and even written down in a notebook just in case. We are sure your infographics will look better and more readable.