Contrast and color play an important part in whether your design will meet accessibility standards.
Sure, you want to choose colors for your design that look good together and create visual interest, but you also want to make sure that readers with visual impairments or disabilities can see and understand your design.
How do I pick the right colors?
When choosing colors for your design, you want to make sure they
Complement each other
Tell a visual story that connects with your data
Use colors that contrast enough to ensure accessibility
There are plenty of resources to help you get started with choosing colors for your design, including basic color wheels like the one below, as well as ones that show monochromatic, analogous, complementary and contrasting colors:
How do I create designs with accessible contrast?
Contrast is determined by the brightness or vibrancy of a color or element when compared to another element.
Black text on a white background is high-contrast. That same text on a white background is much harder to see if it's a lighter color, like yellow, making it low-contrast.
Low-contrast elements can be hard to see, and low-contrast text can be hard to read. A high contrast ratio ensures that text is readable and that non-text elements are perceivable.
Readers with visibility impairment will have an especially hard time reading or seeing low-contrast elements, but it affects the readability for others, too.
Tips for creating contrast
Use dark colors on a light background, or light colors on dark background
Use solid patterns in the background, to make any elements layered over it more visible
Run Venngage's Accessibility Checker to check for contrast ratios and see suggestions
Which tools in the Venngage Editor can help me adjust contrast?
Venngage's Accessibility Checker is the quickest way to check contrast ratios in your design and see how to adjust them to make them clearer.
Select "File" from the top navigation menu (above the top toolbar), then select "Check Accessibility" to open the Accessibility panel.
Elements in your design that don't meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contrast requirements are listed under the "Color Contrast" header.
Select an individual element in your design, like an icon or text box, to see whether it meets contrast requirements.
Check the color contrast ratio
Click on the color menu in the top toolbar with the element selected.
At the bottom of the color menu panel, a section titled "Contrast Ratio" displays the contrast ratio of the element compared to its background.
A red "x" appears next to the element label (e.g., "Graphics", "Normal text", "Header", etc.) if the ratio doesn't meet accessibility requirements, and a green checkmark if it does.
Click on the "info" icon next to the Contrast Ratio header for more details about what contrast ratio meets WCAG requirements.
Change the color of the element with the picker or by entering the HEX code value. The Contrast Ratio in the color panel will update automatically, along with the requirements checker.
What do the color contrast ("AA", "AAA") mean?
Venngage's Accessibility Checker grades color contrast according to WCAG requirements:
Level A is the minimum level.
Level AA includes all Level A and AA requirements.
- This is the requirement that Venngage applies to evaluating all the elements in an accessible design created in the upgraded Editor.
Many organizations strive to meet Level AA; this is used as the baseline for the legally defined requirement of meeting accessibility standards.
Level AAA includes all Level A, AA, and AAA requirements, and meets the highest level of standard requirement.
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