The 60/30/10 Color Rule: How to Master It for Digital Signage
When it comes to design on any platform, including digital, color theory plays a huge part in not only bringing everything together but creating a brand that leaves a lasting impression. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 60/30/10 color rule as it applies to digital signage.
About the 60/30/10 Rule
It’s pretty simple, the rule dictates that any design’s color palette should be made up of 60% the dominant color, 30% the secondary color, and 10% should be the accent shade.
As a general rule, it’s best to keep the primary color fairly neutral. For the secondary color, a complementary shade should be used. Finally, the accent is designed to stand out. Here’s an example of the 60/30/10 rule being used effectively on some recent signage done for &Pizza.
Importance of Color Theory in Digital Signage
From the above, it’s clear to see how well color theory can be implemented into designs. But why is it so important? And why does the signage look so appealing to passers-by?
According to research carried out by Digginet, subconsciously, people make environmental assessments of a place within the first 90 seconds of entering, and 93% are influenced purely by the visual factors when they’re about to make a purchase.
Color theory also allows for a more well-balanced design. It’s not just the amount of color that needs to be considered but also the contrasting components. As demonstrated by the &Pizza example above, the three colors compliment each other well, while contrasting greatly, which allows the important information to stand out. We can see something similar with Shake Shack below:
By selecting a solid color palette like these, it becomes easy to alternate the way the color scheme is used for differing signage and promotional materials. This helps individual screens pop but also creates a more cohesive theme throughout the establishment.
Finding Complementary Shades
So which shades work the best?
The two examples are shown so far demonstrate using two neutral tones with a pop of color, but there are many more colors that can work in sync according to the color wheel.
This is demonstrated below on this video gallery wall in an Equinox gym that focuses on using analogous shades of blue.
The color wheel is the perfect place to start when looking for shades that work well together and there are five main color combinations that most designers use.
First up is complementary colors, which doesn’t mean picking a color that’s a similar shade, it actually means picking a completely opposite color. Complimentary colors can work well when done correctly but can be overbearing and confusing if they’re not balanced just right.
This brings us to the second color combination, split complementary. Here, a base color is chosen and then two colors from the opposite side of the wheel are chosen to complement it, creating an isosceles triangle shape on the color wheel.
The triad is perfect for those who want something bold and vibrant from their color palette with one being the main color and the other two being the secondary and accent shades. This triangle is more equally balanced across the wheel.
Tetradic color combinations focus on four colors on a rectangle within the wheel, which can be complicated but highly effective if used correctly.
Finally, analogous color schemes focus more on shades, three colors next to each other on the color wheel. This is perfect for brands who are focusing on the meaning of their brand color, i.e. blue for trust. Analogous colors should also still be used in a 60/30/10 format for maximum effectiveness.
Regardless of which array of colors you choose, balancing them at a ratio of 60/30/10 will usually bring the best results.