Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“Orange is the happiest color.” Frank Sinatra

When I teach Excel charts and graphs I spend a fair amount of time on the design work of a graph or a chart. Putting together a chart is easy but making it look good and appealing is very difficult. I always stress the importance of color which I find lacking in many instructional books. Color is always considered, in Excel, as an extra. As far as I am concerned this is insane! If you are creating a chart then you are most likely going to use it to convince someone of something like vote for my candidate or invest in your business. Choosing just any color can prove hazardous so I always mention the psychology of color. An example I always use is the color of the yield signs on highways are called safety yellow. That color is shown to make people nervous and anxious. If you use this in a chart to get someone to give money to your business you may have just screwed it up. You might as well use it to your advantage because it is already used in places like the grocery store to convince you to buy more or stay longer. I found three good sites that can give you an inkling of what color means. Give this one a try and see if it improves some of your work.

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