I'm new to the community but I was wondering if you guys could help me out. Typically when someone want to display a scale of good-to-bad they show something like:

red to green color gradient

Red is bad and green is good, with yellow being somewhere in between. What I am faced with however is that all options are bad, so I cannot use green. I also have a wide range of levels of bad with the low end being somebody being rude and the upper end being murder. I was thinking about maybe using purples or blues to increase the spread, but, being completely new to any graphic design, I'm unsure. Like this:

enter image description here

The colors would never be displayed directly next to each other, so a perfect gradient isn't necessary. Any tips or help at all is appreciated!

  • Including what you're actually creating the scale for could greatly improve the suggestions for what should be used. Dec 31, 2020 at 16:50
  • For what its worth Japanese use blue instead of green
    – joojaa
    Dec 31, 2020 at 19:45
  • 2
    Whatever color combination you choose, please ensure it is accessible to colorblind individuals, either by choosing colors with different brightnesses, or by providing a non-color UI indication as well.
    – Kevin
    Jan 1, 2021 at 22:47

2 Answers 2


@Lucien has the right of it. If you need only a color scale (and not a graphic scale) then perhaps a red to yellow stepped blend or a solid red to transparent blend.

It seems to me that any color other than red (bad) to yellow (caution) will not translate to different degrees of "bad".

enter image description here

  • One option could be using black instead of white.
    – Rafael
    Dec 31, 2020 at 19:10

If its all from bad to very bad, in all shades of bad, why not use a single color, uhm... let's say... red, for everything, and come up with this bad rating scale. Some ideas below.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • That's a good idea, but unfortunately it does have to be separate colors not designs.
    – Bubinga
    Dec 31, 2020 at 16:08
  • 3
    A variation on this would be something like the Consumer Reports hollow circle scale (not sure of the name - you should be able to see it on their car ratings (I haven't looked in a long time)). A filled red circle is bad, a half filled red circle is half bad, a hollow read circle is meh. You could also pick two colors (say, red for bad and grey for neutral) and extend the scale somewhat.
    – Flydog57
    Jan 1, 2021 at 20:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.