Choosing The Right Color Palette

Selecting the proper color palette is an important step in electronic communications. Color palettes must be considered in every use from Adobe Design files to Word files and everything in between. This includes emails, Excel files, Powerpoint files, surveys, registration requests and web pages.

Tableau has published an interesting article that addresses best practices when selecting your color palette in order to ensure that all users with colorblindness can fully perceive the communication.

Those of us at UTA have an additional requirement that our color palette should take into account the University’s color identity policy.

It is interesting that Tableau’s recommended color palette is very similar to the colors listed on UTA’s color identity page.

Here are a couple of reminders:

  • When using orange, ensure that you are using the correct orange – RGB# R-245 G -128 B-38. Also, when using orange, it is best to use it against white. It will be very difficult to achieve sufficient color contrast when using orange against creme, light blue or grey.
  • All UTA employees have access to Siteimprove. You can use Siteimprove to test all of your webpages. Contact accessibility@uta.edu for more information.
  • When selecting font and background color, there is no “right color”. Your concern is to achieve enough color contrast between the font color, the background color, and the other font colors so that the user can perceive the content.
  • Never use color as a single identifier. For example, if you have a bar graph, each bar should not only have a different color applied but also a different pattern applied.
  • All hyperlinked text should be underlined to indicate that it is a link. Otherwise, you are using color as a single identifier.

While our primary focus here is electronic accessibility, please ensure that your printed materials also follow best practices when selecting your color palette and refrain from using color as a single identifier. If you need assistance, please contact accessibility@uta.edu.

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