What are 6 colors which are also well-distinguishable in grayscale?

I am currently writing my masters thesis and I created the following graphic:

enter image description here

While it looks ok in color, the areas are not so easy to distinguish if this was printed on a non-color printer:

enter image description here

Do you know any 6 colors which are suitable for this type of image and which can be distinguished if printed with a non-color printer?

(Other ideas how to make sure the reader knows where the numbers come from are also welcome, but I guess colors are the easiest way to do this.)


Well. In reality your colors could work well. The problem you have is who is converting the colors.

Your grayscale image looked totally strange to me because the yellow should be printed very light.

Here is your image converted to grayscale with a simple editing program. (The black background is just because it is a transparent png)

enter image description here

There is a chance that whatever “software step” it is converting your image is making a strange decision.

It could be a printer driver, or something.

There is a chance that that driver is only taking in acount saturation. All colors look saturated. Yellow, magenta, cyan, green, except the pink that could be an unsaturated red.

You could try to use an unsaturated yellow (pastel yellow), the unsaturated red( pink), a saturated cyan, etc.

But probably what you really need is to make diferent versions or the file if you are using a non profesional program for making your publication, and you need to stick with it.

If you are using any profesional program the color mode conversion will be more predictable. You only need to export to a PDF with a grayscale color output.

You could use: Scribus https://www.scribus.net/, Page Plus Starter edition http://www.serif.com/desktop-publishing-software/ which are free.

But even Word makes a better color conversion, this is a pdf generated from PDF creator, which is a driver to make a pdf printing from any aplication. It is pixelated because I just made a quick conversion, but the grays are better.

enter image description here

In any case, you could print this kind of images: https://www.google.com/search?q=rgb+color+swatches and choose some that fits your overall design in color and in grayscale. But again, I would use another program to prepare my publication.

Source : Link , Question Author : Martin Thoma , Answer Author : Rafael

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