International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Drafting IEC publications

 

 

Colour recommendations

Colours in figures, tables or text shall only be used where they facilitate the use of the document. The use of colour for purely aesthetic purposes is not permitted (see the rules on colour in IEC publications). Before deciding to use colour to maximise readability, consider using grey scale instead.

 

Where colour is present in a document, the number of colours used shall be kept to a minimum; they shall be chosen so as to be clearly distinguishable from each other. Furthermore, cross-hatching to produce lighter effects should be avoided – solid colours are preferred.

 

In choosing the colours, due consideration shall be given to the fact that users of IEC documents print them using varying qualities and types of printers.

 

RGB colour scheme values (primary and secondary colours) as used in the IEC Graphic Charter:

 

Primary colours

colour circle - primary colours

Red

 

Red 255
Green 0

Blue 0

Green

 

Red 0
Green 255

Blue 0

Blue

 

Red 0
Green 0

Blue 255

Secondary colours

colour circle - secondary colours

Yellow

 

Red 255
Green 255
Blue 0

Cyan

 

Red 0
Green 255
Blue 255

Magenta

 

Red 255
Green 0
Blue 255

 

 

When choosing to use secondary colours, consider selecting complementary colours. Complementary colours are any two colours which are directly opposite each other in the colour wheel, such as red and cyan or green and magenta. These opposing colours will create maximum contrast and improve legibility in your document, both in electronic and in printed format.

 

 

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