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Short Guide To Choosing A Color Palette For eLearning


A color palette is a set of colors that are predefined to be used in a particular design. Selecting the colors and color schemes is perhaps the most frustrating aspect that almost every eLearning designer faces. 

Every color has a different meaning. You need to make sure that you understand the psychological impact of the color when you plan on using it. 

Now, with millions of colors being available, the decision to select the one that will work well for a brand, the topic, the subject matter, and even the audience is bound to get a little difficult. 

When we talk about the subject matter, we mean that there are certain colors that are often associated with a particular industry. Take green, for example. This color often represents environmental topics industry-wide. 

It’s true that learning-based digital tools such as an LMS often offer pre-made color palettes. But there are chances that these palettes might not appeal to you or don’t align with your brand tone. That’s where the need to manually create a color palette arises. 

Goals Of Your Color Palette

The first thing that you need is to establish your goals. Here are five things that you should add to your list: 

  1. Ensure that the colors offer a positive experience. 
  2. Project the appropriate psychological effect for learning. 
  3. To make it more accessible and inclusive, ensure there is sufficient contrast in colors. 
  4. Steer clear of eye fatigue.
  5. Ensure that it aligns with your content. 

Approaches You Can Use During The Selection Process

There are a couple of different strategies that you can apply to choose the right color palette for your eLearning course. You can find a few of them below. 

1.Select the colors on the basis of existing brand guidelines 

Organizations often have brand guidelines already in place. You can ask your leadership or your client for any existing guidelines or design standards that might exist. 

If you are working for a client, it is suggested that you take a look at their website. A website often already follows a color palette. It can give you an idea about the look and feel of the brand as well as their style. 

2.Use the color scheme of the photos that are to be added

If you are planning to add any photos to your eLearning course, you can use the key colors from those photos to create your palette. You can choose those colors that are pretty prominent in a majority of your selected images. 

It is best to make use of a utility color picker or a graphic program to find the exact colors of the photo.  

3.Base the color palette on your content and audience

You can create your color palette keeping your target audience in mind. For example, if you are designing an eLearning course for preschool educators, you can create a color palette with the right balance of neutral and bright colors. Bright colors are often associated with little kids. 

If you are working on employee training, keep the tones muted. 

4.Use the psychological impact as your basis

As we’ve already discussed, colors have different psychological effects on people. For instance, while vivid and warm colors like red or yellow will excite the audience, muted colors or cool colors such as blue or green keeps them calm. 

You can select the color palette on the basis of how you want your audience to feel when they’re taking the course. If the course is about an illness, use soft pastel colors to show sensitivity with your palette. 


It’s true that you might need to alter the palette here and there in the later stages, but it is best to have one in place before starting with the project. It helps you maintain consistency and also saves up a lot of time. Make sure you keep your audience, your subject matter, and the effect a color will have on your learners when designing your eLearning course. 

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