This page provides a (necessarily incomplete) collection of color-related resources.
The landmark publications by Jacques Bertin (e.g., Bertin, 2011) and
Edward R. Tufte (Tufte, 2001, 2006; Tufte, Goeler, & Benson, 1990) provide solid advice and many inspiring examples.
More recent publications that are geared to the needs of aspiring data scientists include:
See the Wikipedia articles on color vision and color theory for a primer on the theoretical underpinnings of color perception and color systems.
Color resources in R
Recent color developments in R
For recent color developments in R (as of 2020), see the following posts on the R developer blog:
A sound introduction to the ideas behind colorspace package is provided by the article colorspace: A toolbox for manipulating and assessing colors and palettes (Zeileis et al., 2020).
The colorspace documentation also provides links to additional resources.
This chapter mentions, uses, or recommends the following R packages:
Popular and powerful color packages include: colorspace, RColorBrewer, and viridis/viridisLite.
The ggsci and scico packages provide ordered and perceptually-uniform palettes for scientific visualizations. (See Fabio Crameri, Shephard, & Heron, 2020 for an excellent overview of using and misusing color in science communication.)
For more personal color choices, check out the colourlovers, rijkspalette, wesanderson, and yarrr packages.
When dealing with maps and geographic data, consider using the color palettes from the RColorBrewer, viridis, or cartography packages.
The dichromat package allows simulating the effects of different types of color-blindness.
The paletteer package is a meta-color package that provides a uniform interface for palettes from many other packages.
The unikn package provides the color palettes for the University of Konstanz, but also useful functions for easily defining, modifying, and viewing color palettes.
Miscellaneous online links
There is an abundance of sites providing support for individual colors and color palettes.
Many online sites collect color palettes and provide their definitions so that they can easily be implemented in various systems.
As the wealth of color options are often overwhelming, here are two final notes of caution:
When looking up colors, always double-check their definitions and names — and acknowledge your sources.
Using the color palettes designed by experts typically yields superior results over home-brew solutions.
[65_colors.Rmd updated on 2022-07-15 18:32:01 by hn.]
Bertin, J. (2011). Semiology of graphics: Diagrams, networks, maps (Vol. 1). ESRI Press.
Brewer, C. (2019). ColorBrewer 2.0: Color advice for cartography
. Retrieved from http://www.colorbrewer2.org
Crameri, Fabio, Shephard, G. E., & Heron, P. J. (2020). The misuse of colour in science communication. Nature Communications
(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19160-7
Tufte, E. R. (2001). The visual display of quantitative information (2nd ed.). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Tufte, E. R. (2006). Beautiful evidence (Vol. 1). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Tufte, E. R., Goeler, N. H., & Benson, R. (1990). Envisioning information (Vol. 126). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Zeileis, A., Fisher, J. C., Hornik, K., Ihaka, R., McWhite, C. D., Murrell, P., … Wilke, C. O. (2020). colorspace
: A toolbox for manipulating and assessing colors and palettes. Journal of Statistical Software
(1), 1–49. https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v096.i01