This package provides 9 discrete color palettes developed by Paul Tol at for qualitative, diverging, and sequential data. Colors within each palette are designed to match well together and be readable by all audiences, including color-blind readers.


disco can be installed directly from GitHub:

# install.packages("devtools")


The disco API is similar to other color palette packages like viridis and scico.

View all 9 color palettes with disco_palettes_show()



The following table summarizes the 9 color palettes. For more information, consult Paul Tol's Notes

Palette n Data type Description bright 7 Qualitative Good for lines and their labels. vibrant 7 Qualitative Built around the signature orange #FF7043 of the data visualization framework TensorBoard. muted 10 Qualitative Good for lines and maps. light 9 Qualitative Good for filled cells and backgrounds because it keeps black text readable. sunset 11 Diverging This is related to the ColorBrewer RdYlBu scheme, but with darker central colours and made more symmetric. daybreak 9 Diverging This is the reversed ColorBrewer RdBu scheme. midnight 9 Diverging This is the ColorBrewer PRGn scheme, with green #A6DBA0 shifted to #ACD39E to make it print-friendly. eclipse 9 Sequential This is the ColorBrewer YlOrBr scheme, with orange #FE9929 shifted to #FB9A29 to make it print-friendly. rainbow 23 Sequential This should not be used on a continuous scale, but on a discrete scale it offers up to 23 colors and remains relatively color-blind safe.

Select a palette by name:

disco(palette = "sunset")
#>  [1] "#364B9A" "#4A7BB7" "#6EA6CD" "#98CAE1" "#C2E4EF" "#EAECCC" "#FEDA8B"
#>  [8] "#FDB366" "#F67E4B" "#DD3D2D" "#A50026"

Scales are provided for ggplot2:


ggplot(filter(gapminder, year == 2007), aes(gdpPercap, lifeExp, size = pop, color = continent)) +
  geom_point() +
  scale_color_disco(palette = "vibrant")

Happy plotting!

References by Cynthia A. Brewer, Geography, Pennsylvania State University by Paul Tol, Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)

nsgrantham/disco documentation built on May 3, 2019, 11:52 p.m.