A Quick Guide to Color-Coding in Tabletop Games

Inspired by this week's #BoardGameHour discussion of disabilities and access to tabletop games, I made this quick guide to color-coding. Boy howdy, did this blow up on Twitter. It's by far my most RTed and faved tweet. Below is the text from the image.

Quick Guide to Color-Coding in Tabletop Games
Color perception problems can happen to anybody. Whether caused by poor lighting, printing errors, or an eye condition, there is a very simple solution any graphic designer can use.

Instead of using colors alone...

[Image: Line of Colored Circles]

“Double-code” with a correlated visual cue,
like an embedded icon...

[Image: Line of Colored Circles, each with a different black shape centered inside.]

and unique card border or background.

[Image: Line of sample card borders, each with varying corners and line quality]

Uniquely textured, screenprinted, or shaped components can help, too. Group each color with one or two other visual cues that are high contrast, easy to see in low light, and can be recognized from any orientation.
CC-BY DANIEL SOLIS   •   Visit SmartPlayGames.com for visually friendly games!
(Oh! And avoid using red, green, and brown or blue and yellow in the same game. Black, white, blue, and red are a safe bet.)
To clarify that last point, I mean specifically using those colors for the same type of component in a game. Otherwise, I stand by this advice. Feel free to share, tape it up in your office, whatevs.


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