What color is your percent of change?
January 21st, 2007 by JTJ

Yes, we do believe in borrowing good ideas.  In this case, we are suggesting that designers of infographics “borrow” from cartographers in carefully picking colors that do more than just brighten the page.
See Cynthia Brewer's work at

Color Use Guidelines for Mapping and Visualization
Cynthia A. Brewer

Click for generalized structure with links to
discussion of each color scheme type

The graphic display of data plays a critical role in visualization and
exploratory data analysis. Appropriate use of color for data display allows
interrelationships and patterns within data to be easily observed. The
careless use of color will obscure these patterns. When color is used 'appropriately,'
the organization of the perceptual dimensions of color corresponds to the
logical ordering in the data. The color scheme typology I present matches
a comprehensive listing of the ways in which data are organized with corresponding
organizations of hue and lightness.

The scheme guidelines are limited to the use of color to directly represent
data that occur at locations in the graphic where colors occur. The types
of thematic maps to which these guidelines apply are choropleth maps (for
example, census tracts filled with colors representing the percentage of
the population from an ethnic group), filled isoline maps (for example,
color bands that mark set ranges of terrain elevation), and qualitative
areal-extent maps (for example, different colors for different types of
vegetation). My hope is that these guidelines and the associated terminology
will also guide the work of people grappling with data visualization challenges
in diverse disciplines such as physics, medicine, psychology, and graphic

A disorderly jumble of colors produces a map that is little more than
a spatially arranged look-up table. The goal of this WWW resource is to
help you do better than that by using color with skill. This resource provides
a generalized set of color schemes and example

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