Data Visualization: Use Color to Communicate Data

The Authorea Team

When designing infographics, creator can use colors strategically to both communicate clearer and evoke a variety of emotions. The science of color psychology is a vast and expanding field, and gives designers a crucial tool in content manipulation, especially when designing for different audiences. Here are some of our recommended methods when designing for different data types.

Sequential Data

With sequential data, gradients are a useful tool. These allow you to show a progression of quantitative data rather than a contrast, and implementing this color scheme can enhance the understanding of the trends shown. Shading and brightness helps to draw attention to certain data points over others.

Diverging Data

Color is useful in highlighting middle and extreme ranges of data. Contrasting colors for the extreme data points and a different hue for the middle range allows the reader to better visually organize the information. If data is not exactly the same, shade so that it looks very different-- make the difference apparent.