How to get 10 different colors that are easily recognizable

I do have a list of 10 teams, each team has its own color.

I do have to make the graphic that shows the teams with the respective color, and would need a way to find 10 colors that are “different enough” to be recognizable.

there are some conditions for the colors though:

  • no pink or similar is allowed. Red and violet is ok, but other “femminine” colors are not.
  • the saturation should be approximately the same for each color.
  • Dull/trist colors such as brown have to be avoided.

now, obviously the question is not about having you giving me 10 colors. I would rather like to understand what a good approach would be to find those colors in a way that they meet the above conditions.. Doing it by hand with color picker did not bring good results, so maybe there is a mathematical way or a tool to do so.


With those restrictions, You probably can’t.

Here is a similar question, the user was asking about 20 but without the restrictions.

Here is a search of how metropolitan subway colors are used.

Now let’s see a process and see the results.

You need to start with a color wheel, which is not a color wheel but a color solid. In this case a cone.

enter image description here

Set up your restrictions. But as you want the same saturation, you only need the upper slice of the cone.

The lower layers are for brightness, but they also are reduced in saturation.

enter image description here

And now let’s see what color we can have mechanically (D) and later with some adjustments to differentiate a bit more the mecanical selection.(E)

enter image description here

  • Grape?
  • Blue
  • “Light blue” (a lot of people do not know the term cyan)
  • Turquoise? Sometimes is hard to differentiate it from cyan.
  • Green (This fluorescent green is hard to differentiate from turquoise.
  • Lime? Is this green or yellow?
  • Yellow. But the apparent brightness is hard to combine with white text. Some subway systems fail to make this readable.
  • Orange
  • Red

We have like 6 colors and some 3 possible colors without taking into account color-blind users.

Now let’s see if we can expand this a bit removing the saturation (therefore brightness restriction)

enter image description here

We can move the green to a darker green, the Lime to a desaturated “grass” color, we can use brown, we can use gray and probably a marine blue, you can have a beige, some pastel purple…

As explained in the first link I provided, humans can not recognize that many colors, if they are not put together.

Also, there is a lot of differentiation per user.

Here is a funny image.

enter image description here

Source : Link , Question Author : sharkyenergy , Answer Author : Rafael

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