Color schemes for charts: Colorbrewer

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012

If you are looking for some nice color schemes to use in  your dashboard or report charts you should check Colorbrewer. Colorbrewer is a color scheme picker, designed for coloring maps.

Such a color scheme should contain colors that are easy to differentiated. In maps this can get difficult when areas are surrounded by a lot of other areas, that also are surrounded by other areas and so on. Differentiating series in charts may not be that complicated, but we can still take advantage of these color schemes designed for maps in our dashboards and reports.

The Colorbrewer tool is easy to use: First you select how many series you want to show. Next you pick the nature of the data. Here you can choose from three types: Sequential schemes (ordered data that progresses from low to high), diverging schemes (equal emphasis on the extremes of a data set, both the lows and the highs) and qualitative schemes (no magnitude difference between series). You can even refine your selection by checking whether a scheme should be colorblind safe, color print friendly or photocopy (b/w) able.

Finally you can pick a color system (RGB, CMYK, HEX) which you can use to set the right colors in your charts.

Check it at!


Posted in: Data visualization