Visual Design: Colors

Note: I’m a graduate student at the University of Miami working on my capstone, a visualization of the Pictures of the Year International Archives. If you’re curious about my journey, here are my posts tagged with capstone.

Gender and Colors

Once I decided that my focus would be on gender representation, I knew I wanted to avoid the obvious pink and blue or variations of, to communicate female (pink) and male (blue). So, I did some research about alternatives to pink and blue and discovered these great articles (below). One of them happens to be from one of my trusty go-to resources, Chartable, the DataWrapper blog.

Exploring Alternative Pairs

Below is just one of the color combinations I explored to communicate gender without perpetuating the gender color associations ingrained in our consciousness.

Not the best chart to communicate comparisons but the colors were working!

I thought these colors worked well but not everyone was particularly fond of the electric yellow-green (chartreuse in my mind) and referred to it as “vomit green”. Interesting. Well, you can’t please everyone.

The chart colors will set the foundation for every other color choice moving forward.

It’s important to me to get the colors for the charts established before I can determine the final colors for the background, type, links, and more. My typical choice for colors when working with photography tends to be more muted, earthy tones. Neutral, like when in a gallery.

But for this project, a little ”electric” and unexpected would be a breath of fresh air and draw more attention to the visualizations.

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