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Need help with colors for Excel Chart

1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Artist's Corner
I'm redesigning a rather extensive presentation for our company. We have a particular stacked graph that has over 7 categories (unfortunately, that's as few as possible). They're all very separate things but that are measured within the same group, so I wanted to differentiate the groups as best as I could.

Here's what I have so far:

rQQgv.jpg

I don't like how it's essentially a rainbow, so I wanted to maybe try a color scale. The default colors in Excel are drab and flat, and the purpose of this is redesign is to make the presentation "visually appealing"

Should I go with a color gradient of one color for each group (shades of red/green, etc) or should I keep distinct color bands like this?

Also, there is a data table below, its just hidden to for data reasons.

1ddqd on

Posts

  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Dude I would go monotone and just separate shades of the one colour

    also i am super amused about having an excel chart in the AC ... it's right, it's just so wrong

  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    lol - that's why I came here...if anyone knows colors, it's the Writer's block.

    (j/k)

    The thing is, my only other option is a line graph. That'd be fine, except the scale here is redonk.

  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    WHy not do the kind of scale where it shows a grouping of 7 bars together - then the next block is also a grouping of 7 bars.. monotone for that would be fine, different shades of monotone i mean
    what colour is the rest of your presentation?
    make it match

  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I was thinking greens, since it's a business based on money. The problem is finding the right shades; those that can *pop* but also are easy on the eyes. I'll upload one I'm doing in a sec. I'm trying to stay away from gradients (like in the OP) but it looks so much better... just the printer can't do as well with them :x

  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Here's an example of the line graph's that I've already changed over:

    xim5c.jpg

  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    well i definitely find that more interesting to look at

  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    mully wrote: »
    well i definitely find that more interesting to look at

    Sweet, thanks for the endorsement. I think the line graphs are as good as they'll get with this current iteration of our project. The bar graphs look great when they're simple, 2 color and grouped:

    9VMDF.jpg

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    What is that stacked bar graph about? I know those things are usually used to show how a flat number (say: monthly income) is divided in different categories (selling coke, prostitutes, sales of embroiled handkerchiefs...).

    If these categories have nothing in common you should absolutely use different colours. That does not mean your graph has to look as ugly as it does now. You should experiment with a darker background and no one is forcing you to use cobalt blue. It might also be neat to step away from Excel's standard font and use the same font as is used in the rest of your presentation.

    Also consider if you really want to use a chart providing so much information in a powerpoint. Are all those numbers and bars relevant to your public?

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, all data shown on the chart *must* be included on the chart. There are actually 15 categories they wanted to display on a stacked graph. Think of it this way: all the data is about fruit sales. All products are related, but different, hence the stacked graph.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    1ddqd wrote: »
    Yeah, all data shown on the chart *must* be included on the chart. There are actually 15 categories they wanted to display on a stacked graph. Think of it this way: all the data is about fruit sales. All products are related, but different, hence the stacked graph.
    *groan* I'm glad I don't have to attend that meeting, I'm bored already.

    Consider this: there is no way you can show that much information in an appealing way with just Excel. If you have time to kill you could change all the backgrounds to a slightly more appealing colour than bright white and change the font to something that is nicer on the eye than Arial pt 10 (hell, even Verdana pt 10 is nicer).

    If you have unlimited time and resources: there are some nice presentation tools that allow you to click on graphs to make them pop out and show more detail. It will surely wow any audience, but only because swoosh swoosh majick. However, they cost money and they're not as easy to use as the MS Office package.

    God, why do people insist on nuking their audience with numbersnumbersnumbers.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Believe me, I know, which is why they gave it to me. Apparently I'm the only one around that played with Crayons instead of eating them.

    I'll probably change the font to Verdana and see how I like it. Right now I've tried to make everything Calibri because I can't stand Arial.

    Anyways, I can't change the background to anything but white because it eats toner. That's right, you heard me, they're printing it as well. Which is fine, normally, but this project results in over 100 pages of data. It's a high level, Executive Officer meeting that VPs attend to report on their respective departments... you'd think there'd be some more muscle behind it, but no, just me.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Calibri is coo' as well...

    Oh, one of my lecturers gave print-outs, but he made sure those contained less colour. So what you can do is make a prin-out version with white backgrounds and everything and a fancier looking version to show on the big screen.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I don't have anything to add but I love the fact that we have a thread about excel charts.

  • ChromatomicChromatomic Mr. DCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I don't know how fancy you're willing to get but you can always wow them with 3D!

    That's what all the hip new movies are doing right?

    Make sure to tell them to bring their 3d glasses.

    http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/designing/turn-a-boring-bar-graph-into-a-3d-masterpiece/

  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    lol - actually, the business entity in charge of printing/producing the final product has said "no 3D!" - I think I'm close to having a color scheme down. There are a few graphs that are bar and line, then the grouped bar, then the stacked bar, and finally, the line graph. So in total, 5 graphs and I think they all mesh pretty well given the diversity of data I have to deal with. I'll throw up some final compilations so you guys can critique.

    It's mostly old men reviewing this, on 8.5x11 Letter - I have to push the margins as far as I can. If I had my choice, I would probably be doing the finalization in InDesign but this company is cheeeeeeeeap

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