• Choosing Colors

    Carefully consider your color schemes. Bright colors should be reserved for highlighting data. Choose colors with a logical ordering to differentiate categories of data, but don't rely on color alone. Use colorblind-safe color schemes.

  • Gridlines in Graphs

    Do not use dark gridlines. Avoid vertical gridlines (on by default in some graphing programs). Instead, use light-colored horizontal gridlines or directly label values on your graph.

  • Choosing Line Graph Markers

    Differences in color/shade are better than differences in shape. Graphs with more than 4 markers will need special treatment.

  • Alignment in Tables

    Left-align words; right-align numbers, and round all numbers in the same column to the same number of decimal places (and if possible, align on the decimal point). Align titles with data.

  • Lines in Tables

    Use light gray horizontal lines in tables, or no lines. Avoid vertical lines.

  • Small Multiples

    An effective technique for showing differences over time or among categories of data in a small amount of space.

  • Recommended References

    A list of the books and other reference materials used to make this website.

  • About

    More about the site, who wrote it, and why.