Texas Tech University

Accessible Use of Color

Color is an excellent and essential design tool to draw the eye toward certain information and signal importance. However, for those with visual impairments or color blindness, the important information might go unnoticed or without emphasis. There are two main concerns when using color.

Color for Emphasis

When information is conveyed using color alone, some are not able to access that information.

Instead of this:

Course Schedule table with some assignments colored red and the instruction "assignments in red must be submitted online" Simply add an asterisk so there is another way to see the emphasis:

Course Schedule table with some assignments in red that also have an * beside them and the instructions "assignments in red* must be submitted online"

Use color. Color is an effective tool for emphasis and design. Just keep in mind that color should not work alone in conveying important information to your audience. 

More on Using Color for Emphasis

Color Contrast

When color is used, be sure to use sufficiently contrasting colors to help your information be easily seen. Use an online color contrast checker to make sure your colors are working. The legal standard to meet is the WCAG 2.0 AA standard. 

Example of a color contrast checker

WebAIM Color Contrast Checker

WCAG 2.0 Standards

More about Color Contrast


Online Accessibility at Texas Tech