Thomas Piggott
User Experience Lead
Holy Contrast, Batman!

Accessibility has become a major point of concern for public institutions, as all institutions receiving federal funding are required to meet accessibility standards. Lawsuits have increased substantially and libraries are doing all they can to ensure access to all their patrons. But more importantly, inclusive design is good design. So, we've ensured all of our color combinations meet WCAG 2.1 requirements where text is always at a contrast ratio of at least 4.5 : 1 with its background.

So, when we had the opportunity to redesign our product platform, we made sure that all of our color combinations had the appropriate color contrast. But it wasn't easy. The color palette the marketing department uses was our start, but many of the colors weren't dark enough to use with white text but felt too dark with black.

Gale Product Color Palette
Color palette and acceptable combinations for the Gale product platform.

Insider tip: once you start thinking about color contrast and accessibility, you'll never look at another website the same again. There are so many uses of white text on light backgrounds, like light blues or greens. I know I was guilty of this in the past, because frankly, it looks nice. But that's just to my eyes, and these accessibility requirements help us consider more than just ourselves.

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