Color Usage

We've upgraded to the Orbit color palette in August 2020! Review this guide for new color guidelines.

Table of Contents

Our Color Story

The Orbit palette conveys the tapestry of colors seen from a rocket as it ascends into space. Our color choices capture the evolving hue and brilliance of the earth's atmospheres.

We've employed color psychology and user testing to develop this palette. It's built for modern, human-centered, and accessible experiences.

Our color usage guidelines follow WCAG 2.1 (Level AA) contrast standards.

How to Apply Color

When observing the amounts of colors used in a project, it should look similar to the color bar below.

A well balanced color proportion leans towards primarily white backgrounds with black text, followed by intentionally placed interaction and brand colors.

Scale showing correct balance and proportions when using color.

Rocket Red

Use Rocket Red for primary actions, like buttons and key elements. This primary color highlights the main actions on the page.

Webpage with a Rocket Red primary button.

After placing a primary button, use secondary or tertiary buttons to maintain a clear hierarchy between actions.

Webpage with two Rocket Red primary buttons next to each other.

Overusing Rocket Red causes distraction from the main action. It's especially distracting when two primary buttons are close to each other.

Orbit Purple

Use Purple to highlight interactive elements, like buttons, links, and active form fields. It can also spotlight important information.

Webpage with an Orbit Purple field input to indicate interaction.

Use Orbit Purple to call attention to interactive elements.

Webpage with Purple text and an Orbit Purple background.

Overusing Purple distracts from interactive elements on the page.

Neutral Colors

Use for text, borders, and system icons.

Most text should be black, with some additional shades of dark gray for content hierarchy. Follow contrast accessibility standards when considering anything but black text on white backgrounds.

Webpage with headline text in Black, and body copy in corresponding shades of grey to indicate hierarchy.

Most text should be black, with some additional darker shades of gray for content hierarchy.

Webpage with headline and body copy text shown in several different semantic and brand colors.

Don't use any other colors for text like shades of red, purple or semantic colors.

Semantic Colors

Use to communicate the status of messages.

  • Green: Success
  • Blue: Informational
  • Orange: Error, Warning, Urgent or Attention Needed

Do not use semantic colors for large accents.

Use the Error semantic color to present negative information and reserve Rocket Red for positive brand interactions.

Webpage with a Rocket Red colored alert window, indicating an urgent message.

Use appropriate semantic colors to indicate the status of messages, like an urgent alert.

Webpage with a Semantic Warning color background.

Use semantic colors to communicate status. Using them in other places, distracts users from focusing on vital information. Don't use them as accents or action colors.

Floods of Color

Most content should have a white background. To create other sections of focus (for example for a Stepper or Footer), use only these dark and light colors.

Orbit Purple Screen that fills majority of space, paired with a step-by-step navigation bar and blank iPhone screen.



Charts and Graphs

Use these shades of purple to communicate information hierarchy in charts and graphs.

Use the orange semantic error color to represent a negative element in the chart.

Only use other semantic colors as accents to the Purple gradient palette.

Orbit Purple Screen that fills majority of space, paired with a step-by-step navigation bar and blank iPhone screen.
Orbit Purple Screen that fills majority of space, paired with a step-by-step navigation bar and blank iPhone screen.
Next: Color Codes