I used to manually select my color schemes with trial and error, but these days, there are a lot of tools to help you pick colors for your charts. The motivation for most of them is to help you visualize your data in a way that is perceptually correct. That is, perceived differences translated between your eyeballs and your brain match the actual quantitative differences.
While there are new tools released fairly often, I tend to stick to these four simple and quick ones. Here they are by purpose.
When you’re in a rush but need something better than defaults
ColorBrewer is the old standby. There are a fixed number of color schemes and several options to choose from, which lets you accommodate various datasets. Select between sequential, diverging, or qualitative data. Multi-hue or single hue. Number of classes.
ColorBrewer color schemes are also baked into a lot many packages and tools, like d3.js and R.
When you have more time to browse
The Colorpicker for Data tool by Tristen Brown is straightforward and kind of fun to…
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