Introducing Charted
Mike Sall
1K6

I went a little crazy trying to choose Charted’s colors.

It was actually one of the hardest parts of building and designing it. Here were the general goals:

  • Feel bright and colorful, but still professional
  • Work well in order so that each growing subset of 2, then 3, then 4, etc. still looks good as a complete set
  • Have each color work decently well with every other color, in case they end up next to each other
  • Increase color contrast to improve accessibility
  • Work on both white and black backgrounds, and as both lines and bars

I took inspiration from Airbnb’s recent brand refresh and a couple artists. Then I started throwing things together in Illustrator, trying different combinations and approaches until my eyes fell out.

I completely replaced them a few times. Eventually I settled on these seven, in this order:

I’m still not totally satisfied with them. Internally at Medium, too, I get requests all the time to improve them and add more. We’ll see, I say, maybe eventually. But for now, months later, I’m still letting my eyes rest.

If any color experts out there have better suggestions, there’s a list of hex values in the open source code awaiting your love.