EP10 – Colors ?

The average color of every frame of different films shows their distinctive color palettes – Christopher Hooton

Hello People,

Christopher Hooton, starts an article on the INDEPENDENT with such an assertion. The latter emphasizes that it is of massive importance in films productions as much as the set, the costume, the lens or even the actors.  However it is to be noted that some palettes inspire either joy or sadness or any other related emotions. In Data Visualization; color selection is indeed an important aspect. Indeed fonts,  iconography, content and indeed sources have a huge role to play; but colors will be the starting point of the reader “to look or not to look” attitude towards the infography.

On his website, Christopher Hooton even talk about a Java-based processing program he developed allowing to analyze the color balance of movies frame per frame. For example; here is what the application outputs for the movie Aladdin (My Favorite !).


However, the more you look into the matter; insights are generated. Mainly that the main approaches to this are the following according to Cinema5D related articles :

  • Complementary Color Scheme : Two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel make a complimentary pair. This is by far the most commonly used pairing. A common example is orange and blue, or teal. This pairs a warm color with a cool color and produces a high contrast and vibrant result. Saturation must be managed but a complimentary pair are often quite naturally pleasing to the eye.
  • Analogous Color Scheme : Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel. They match well and can create a overall harmony in color palette. It’s either warmer colors, or cooler colors so doesn’t have the contrast and tension of the complementary colors.
  • Triadic Color Scheme : Triadic colors are three colors arranged evenly spaced around the color wheel. One should be dominant, the others for accent. They will give a vibrant feel even if the hues are quite unsaturated.
  • Split-Complementary Color Scheme : A split-complimentary color scheme is really very similar to complimentary colors but instead of using the direct opposite color of the base color, it uses the two colors next to the opposite. It has the same high contrast but less tension than a complimentary pair.
  • Tetradic Color Scheme : Tetradic colors consist of four colors arranged into two complementary pairs. The result is a full palette with many possible variations. As with most of these color harmonies, one color is usually dominant.


Thus while compiling infographics; those colors approaches lead to better vision and indeed balance. However; the leading color is to be chosen accordingly to the main theme of the information to be communicated. For instance according to FilmDirectingTips colors do have special meaning :

  • Red : anger, passion, rage, desire, excitement, energy, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence
  • Pink : love, innocence, healthy, happy, content, romantic, charming, playfulness, soft, delicate, feminine.
  • Yellow : wisdom, knowledge, relaxation, joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard.
  • Orange : humor, energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant.
  • Green : healing, soothing, perseverance, tenacity, self-awareness, proud, unchanging nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy.
  • Blue : faith, spirituality, contentment, loyalty, fulfillment peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, sky, water, cold, technology, depression.
  • Purple/Violet : erotic, royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning, power, sensitive, intimacy.
  • Brown : materialistic, sensation, earth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity.
  • Black : No, power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger.
  • White : Yes, protection, love, reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.
  • Silver : riches, glamorous, distinguished, earthy, natural, sleek, elegant, high-tech.
  • Gold : precious, riches, extravagance. warm, wealth, prosperity, grandeur.


Conclusion : For effective story telling of the delivered material, we should thus apply two basic rules :

  • Choose dominant color according to theme (emotional output to be delivered).
  • Apply palette coloring based on information amount (the more information; the less color to be used in order to create coherence in data).

Hope it will help you in your color decision making in the future.

Take care and rock it.



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