Accents

Accent colors help differentiate interface elements such as sticky notes, color pickers, and project icons.

Accent colors help to differentiate between similar pieces of UI. Accents don’t communicate any specific meaning to users, unlike success, warning, or other color roles.

Use accent colors where users choose a color for their content (in color pickers), or in experiences where color helps categorize content.

3 stickies shown in magenta, purple, and orange.

Color options

There are 10 accent colors available: blue, teal, green, lime, yellow, purple, magenta, red, orange, and gray.

Tags shown in the 10 accent colors.

Applying accent colors

Each accent color has dedicated design tokens that can be applied to backgrounds, text, borders and icons. The full list of tokens is available in design token reference list.

If you aren’t sure whether to use an accent token, consider whether the color could be swapped for another without changing the experience or meaning behind it.

Do

Use accent tokens for any experience where the color is just one of many colors, and changing it would have no impact on the experience.

Don't

Don’t use accent tokens when the color has a specific meaning in our system, such as information, warning, or success.

Emphasis levels

Accent tokens come in multiple shades, which can either provide different emphasis levels for visual hierarchy or be used to provide more color options for user-generated content.

Background accent tokens

Background accent tokens have four emphasis levels ranging from subtlest to bolder.

A color picker with four shades per color. There is a label pointing to each shade of purple. From most subtle to boldest, the labels say color.background.accent.purple.subtlest, color.background.accent.purple.subtler, color.background.accent.purple.subtle, and color.background.accent.purple.bold.

Text accent tokens

Text accent tokens have two emphasis levels – default and bolder.

Examples of text in different colors. A label points to text in a lighter magenta that says color.text.accent.magenta.default. Another label points to text with a darker shade that says color.text.accent.magenta.bolder.

Icon accent tokens

Icon accent tokens have two emphasis levels – default and bolder.

Examples of icons in different colors. A label points to an icon in a lighter magenta that says color.icon.accent.magenta.default. Another label points to an icon with a darker shade that says color.icon.accent.magenta.bolder.

Accent color accessibility

When pairing accent text or icon colors against backgrounds, make sure they meet minimum contrast requirements.

  • Pair default or bolder accent text or icons with subtlest and subtler accent backgrounds

  • Pair bolder accent text or icons with subtle accent backgrounds

  • Pair inverse text or icons with bolder accent backgrounds

If you’re pairing text or icon tokens outside of these recommendations, ensure they meet the minimum contrast requirements against the background.

Visualization of how various teal text and background pairings can look. Default and bolder text appears on a subtlest background, default and bolder text appears on a subtler background, bolder text appears on a subtle background, and inverse text appears on a bolder background.Visualization of how various teal icon and background pairings can look. Default and bolder icons appears on a subtlest background, a bolder icon appears on a subtler background, a bolder icon appears on a subtle background, and an inverse icon appears on a bolder background.

Best practices

Avoid yellow

Yellow presents a unique challenge for accessibility and can appear more like brown. Consider using a different accent color in it’s place, such as orange.

Do

Consider using accent tokens other than yellow, such as orange.

Don't

Avoid using yellow accent tokens, as these become brown to meet contrast requirements.

Use borders for more contrast around subtle backgrounds

Pair subtler accent backgrounds with accent borders if your experience needs to pass 3:1 contrast.

Bolder accent backgrounds meet these requirements on their own. For data visualization, use our chart tokens instead.

View of a calendar event with a label pointing to the border color that says color.border.accent.magenta. Another label points to the background color that says color.background.accent.magenta.subtler.

Avoid mixing different accent colors

Maintain visual harmony by combining foreground and background elements with colors from the same family.

Do

Pair accent background and foreground elements (text, icons, or borders) from the same color to create harmonious experiences.

Don't

Don’t mix accent backgrounds with different colored foreground elements (text, icons, or borders).


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