(light music) - What is it about colors blending together seamlessly that is just so captivating? You know when you see colors used well. It's almost a feeling, but it's pretty difficult to explain and even harder to pull off well. That's because color is really hard. There's a science to selecting and pairing colors, and there's also an art to it, not to mention the fact that an audience's reaction to a color is very subjective. Some people will hate a color that others love. Culture can play a huge role in the meaning of color, too. There's a nearly endless list of challenges we face when working with color. I can't possibly teach you how to be a master with color in a short lesson. Hey, I'm not even qualified to do so. I'm not that great at working with color either. It's a really, really rare skill, but I can definitely teach you a few simple tips and tricks that can help you leverage the knowledge and skills that you already have. My first tip, use as little color as possible. Seriously, most of the visualizations I make are almost entirely just shades of gray. Every chart you make is probably not really about sharing every single data point, but instead, you want your audience to understand the overall context of the data and focus in on just one data point or one cluster of data points. So show all the data in gray, and use color to draw the eye to that one thing that matters. Too many colors will definitely result in distraction. The second thing, if you do use colors, use your brand colors, right? Your organization probably hired a team of designers who spent years absorbing the research and practicing the skills, so your palette, your brand palette, is probably a good combination of colors, and of course, you want people to think of your brand when they see your colors. Third thing, if you must choose your own colors, use tools like Adobe Color or iWantHue, which are designed to help you reduce color theory infractions and pick palettes that look beautiful and/or are designed to enable effective visualizations. Even if you have a good palette to work with, don't just let your chart creation software use those colors willy nilly. (chuckling) Don't let Excel make every bar a different color, which it might do, even if those colors work well together. Revert back to tip number one. Only use color where it helps your audience see a focal point, and finally, keep colorblindness in mind. Be careful about showing your audience colors that they can't even distinguish, even if they have a legend or a key. You can use colorblind-friendly pallets from sources like ColorBrewer and test your designs by running them through colorblindness simulators like at colorblindness.com. Next up, we'll talk to Rob Simmon, senior data visualization engineer at Planet Labs who specializes in visualizing satellite imagery and most famously created the image of the western hemisphere of the earth that was used as the default wallpaper on the iPhone in 2007. I bet you can see it in your head right now. We'll talk to him in a minute.