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Color Theory: Full-Color Disaster

Color Theory: Full-Color Disaster

The original map from Wired.com

Igor Asselbergs

The map above was published on Wired to show the differences in prices of broadband internet access. Each color indicates a certain price in broadband access. Can you make sense of it? I can’t. And my eyes start hurting when I try.

I won’t comment on the graphic design, because I want to focus on the choice of colors. To illustrate that the quality of the map very much hinges on the choice of colors, I reworked the map in all new colors. See below.

First I made sure to have enough contrast between the background and the landmasses. So that at least you’ll be able to see the different continents. Because I used black in the background, all the other colors have a brightness of at least 40%. See my post on contrasts for further explanation. Then I established a hierarchy of colors so that the cheaper the internet access, the lighter the color. Grey indicates where broadband is not available. I followed the natural brightness of the colors as explained here. It’s a real simple color design. No big deal. But now the map does clearly indicate where in the world you have the best chance of finding cheap internet access. And as a bonus it’s more pleasing to the eye as well….


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