1. Home
  2. Quick Answers
  3. Accessibility
  4. Which colours should I use to create digitally accessible content?

Which colours should I use to create digitally accessible content?

Choosing the correct colours for your documents, presentations, Moodle courses and websites is crucial as one of the key regulations associated with Digital Accessibility is to maintain an appropriately high colour contrast between the foreground (text) and background. By using the correct combinations of colours in the Brookes branded colour palette you can ensure that your resources remain digitally accessible to all.

Basic rules when using colour for digital resources

  • Use light text on dark backgrounds and dark text on light backgrounds.
  • Keep it simple. Use colour sparingly.
    • Colour will enhance the reading experience for a few, be neutral for most and can adversely affect many.
  • If you are signalling emphasis, do not use colour alone.
    • Screen readers generally recognise bold and italics.
    • They adjust the voice and give verbal cues to indicate such emphasis.
    • They do not recognise colour change as a change in emphasis.
  • Avoid highlighting for emphasis.
    • Highlighting is widely used to dynamically indicate editorial suggestions in feedback.
    • Outside of this, highlighting reduces legibility by reducing contrast or introducing interference.
    • Reversed-out highlighting, where a dark highlight is used over white text is even harder to read.

Using digitally accessible colours

To check the colour contrast of any colour combination, use WebAim’s Colour Contrast Checker. Remember the foreground colour is the text and the background colour should be the whole of the colour behind the text.

There are other colours and colour combinations that are used on the Brookes website, on Brookes branded merchandise and marketing, and in certain faculties. Please note that not all colours on the ‘Our colours’ page in corporate identity are appropriate for digital resources. These colours are instead those that represent the Brookes brand across all physical and digital resources.

Text colours to use on Light Backgrounds (White or Light Grey)

    • C69 M55 Y46 K13
    • #424A52
    • RGB(66, 74, 82)
    • C2 M94 Y2 K0
    • #D10373
    • RGB(209, 3, 115)
    • C56 M100 Y25 K15
    • #6A2150
    • RGB(106,33,80)
    • C92 M62 Y0 K0
    • #003896
    • RGB(0,56,150)
    • C95 M10 Y85 K30
    • #006338
    • RGB(0,99,56)
Pantone image of Brookes Charcoal 432C
Pantone image of Brookes pink 226C
Pantone image of Brookes purple 229C
Pantone image of Brookes blue 287C
Panotone image of Brookes Green 349C

Text colours to use on Dark Backgrounds (Charcoal Grey)

Best option is White: C0 M0 Y0 K0; #FFFFF; RGB(255,255,255)

Other options include the 10% shade of the above colours:

  • Brookes Pink 10%
    • #FAE5F1
    • RGB(250,229,241)
  • Brookes Purple 10%
    • #F0E9EE
    • RGB(240,233,238)
  • Brookes Blue 10%
    • #E7EBF4
    • RGB(231,235,244)
  • Brookes Green 10%
    • #E7EFEC
    • RGB(231,239,236)

Please note, if you are using the Oxford Brookes Business School branded colour Blue as a background you can use the same suggestions as above for the Text colour.

How to change the colour of the text and background

Microsoft Office

Google Docs

Updated on September 15, 2023

Was this article helpful?