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.

Data Lab

Explorations with Medium data, from Medium’s Product…

Data Lab

Explorations with Medium data, from Medium’s Product Science team

Mike Sall

Written by

Mike Sall

Cofounder at @Goldfinch_fi. Previously Head of Product Analytics at @Coinbase, Head of Data Science at @Medium.

Data Lab

Explorations with Medium data, from Medium’s Product Science team