Semantic colour system

What is a semantic colour system?
  • A semantic colour system is a framework that assigns meaning to colours.

  • In a semantic colour system, a colour's name reflects its intended purpose (eg. Background Base, Text Title) or human interpretation of the colour (eg. Alert Text).

Benefits of a semantic colour system
  • Semantic colours create a common language for discussing and referencing colours. Which makes communication more efficient and reduces misunderstanding. While ensuring a shared understanding of the intended colour usage.

  • When a shared understanding of the intended colour usage exists. Visual inconsistencies are less likely to occur in a product. Because everyone is using a colour for the same purpose.

  • Working with colours with associated meanings reduces decision making time. Allowing a designer to focus on optimising the user experience. Instead of deliberating between countless shades of grey.

  • Semantic colour systems simplify colour management and scalability. Change individual colours values, without needing to create a new colour system.