CS 552, Spring 1998

Color Coding Guidelines

Derived from Richard E. Christ, 1975, "Review and Analysis of Color Coding Research for Visual Displays," Human Factors, Vol. 17, No., 6, pp. 542-570.


(1) Avoid "false coding," where the association of particular colors implies relationships that do not actually exist.
(2) Use the four "focal colors" to encode information that needs to be remembered.
(3) Avoid subtle distinctions in color codes.


Prepared by C. Pancake, March 31, 1998