Category: Learning

How To Choose Colors For Digital Signage

September 15, 2017


How to choose colors for digital signage is part of our How to Design for Digital Signage series that provides tips and ideas on how you can design better, more effective and beautiful screens. 

#2: How To Choose Colors For Digital Signage

Following our “Less is More” tip in how to design for digital signage, using color strategically is the next step you should take. Leveraging a selective color scheme is vital in creating clarity.

Color choices can make or break a design.

In fact, research shows that color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

Think about your brand or the message you want to get across. Is it urgent? Is it meant to be soothing? Color theory teaches us that warm colors like red, orange and yellow are generally energizing and happy, while cooler tones are calming and relaxing. Colors are an excellent way to evoke certain emotions, or express the unique personality of your brand.

The meaning of colors often depend on context as well. Red for example, can be associated with love or hatred, can symbolize danger, boldness, a sense of urgency, and attract a whole lot of attention. It all depends on context, and in today’s world, we trained to understand this meaning almost immediately.

There’s a reason why sales are often written and advertised in big bold red letters!

So how to choose colors for digital signage?

Start with a color palette.

Restricting yourself to select few colors and reducing the overall number of colors you use, helps to create a cohesive look. Color palettes are a fundamental element that can help build brand recognition through visual communication.

An easy way to start is to use color theory. Align your palette with color theory principals to give yourself an idea of what colors you could start with. Is there a specific color that strongly aligns with your brand values?

Another great and easy way to start building a color palette is to reference images you like or images that reflect your brand’s personality.

An easy way to start building a color palette for your digital signage is to reference images you like or images that reflect your brand’s personality

Another example of building a color palette for your digital signage

Keep in mind that you want to have a few good base colors that you can use as backgrounds, and at least one accent color (to help things stand out).

Still need more help? Here’s a color palette generator that might be useful:

There are a variety of online color palette generators to choose from. This is a screenshot from

Coolors Color Palette Generator

Remember contrast too.

When developing a color palette, remember to look out for contrast between your selected colors. Color contrast is used to make the most important element of a page pop. High contrast like dark on light, or light on dark makes things easier to read. Take caution though, if everything on your screen is high contrast, it can get tiring on the eye after a while. Similarly enough, while low contrast colors (i.e. monochromatic colors) can look beautiful paired together, it can often be hard to read, especially when it comes to type (text).

Although monochromatic colors look great, they often don't provide enough contrast for readability in digital signage

Use high contrast colors especially with type for your digital signage to increase readability

Take a look at your color palette to ensure that you’ve included at least one dark and one light color that contrast each other nicely.

So go get started! With this information, you should now have a good idea on how to choose colors for digital signage!