Color Confusion? Explore Color Map Themes to Achieve the Right Aesthetics

Arquivo em: Map Printing / October 27, 2017

When it comes to selecting map colors, it’s never a good idea to simply choose your favorite shades. It all comes down to data and the story you’re trying to tell.


What’s the Scheme of Your Map Story?

  • Sequential Data – Running the Gamut
    Data that runs from high to low is most easily translated via shades that run from dark to light, with the highest number featuring the darkest shade (or vice versa). This scheme is ideal if you’re not focusing on a particular range within your data.
  • Divergent Data – One of these Things is Not Like the Others
    In those cases where you do want to highlight a particular range of quantitative data or data that diverges from the norm, choosing 2 saturated, contrasting colors best exposes information.
  • Qualitative Data – Toss it In the Pot
    For qualitative data such as religion, political affiliations… Or favorite pizza toppings, you’ll want to pick a series of unrelated colors, but with a nice color theme that doesn’t blind or confuse readers.


Desktop Color Picking Tools

Now that you’ve defined the scheme of your map, it’s time to pick colors. An array of free and inexpensive desktop applications can help you visualize your data and isolate the perfect choice.

  • Sequential Color Tools
    • 0_255
      Perfect for selecting between different shades of a single color.
  • Divergent Color Tools
    • Color Scheme Designer
      Select a color, and the software generates several complimentary options.
  • Qualitative Color Tools
    • Colour Lovers
      Perfect for qualitative data, active users contribute palettes to this searchable, browsable site.
    • Kuler
      Similar to Colours Lovers, designers submit their own themes, including readily available RGB values/hex codes.
  • Multifunctional Color Tools
    • Colorbrewer
      Test out different color schemes for your sequential, divergent, or qualitative data till you find the right fit.
    • Pochade
      Easily determine the RGB/hex code value of any color on your computer screen with this handy color manipulation tool.


Still Struggling with Color Selection?

The experts at MapPrinter are here to help you at every stage of the process so that you can achieve superior printed map results. From color conundrums to folding and substrate snafus, set yourself up for success. Contact the customer service team at MapPrinter today.