Colour distinguishes our brand and helps us create consistent, credible experiences across our products and services.
We use three separate colour palettes depending on which area of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, Te Mahau or Te Poutāhū your project is for - or who the audience is. It is typical for our digital products to be coordinating with communications in other media, such as printed resources, events, campaigns and existing projects. For these reasons colour choices must be well considered in conjunction with our Corporate Design and Brand Team.
Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education colours
Te Mahau colours
Te Poutāhū | Curriculum Centre colours
Semantic colours can help to communicate a message clearly, as well as status such as success, error, failure, reminder, or to invite user interactivity.
Neutral colours form the largest part of the interface, across a product as measured by screen area. In addition to the background, borders, dividing lines; the text content is also normally displayed in neutral colours. The neutral colour definition needs to consider the difference between the dark background and light background while incorporating the WCAG 2.1 standard. Using a pure #00000 black is not recommended in our system as it puts a strain on the eyes, and instead we use deep charcoal greys.
In most circumstances we use neutral colours to display text – either dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background. This helps us to avoid colour contrast failures when communicating information, and still be able to implement colour coding systems in our products. Consequently, we rely on other on-screen elements rather than text to make products colourful.
Colour & Contrast Accessibility
This is an important part to meet the Accessibility criteria. Each user with disabilities will have different needs when it comes to this, so we will give you examples of what good and bad colour choices are and why.
The colour contrast between a text’s foreground colour and background colour can have dramatic repercussions on the legibility of the product. The WCAG states that your text should have at least a 4:5:1 contrast ratio to achieve an AA rating and a 7:1 contrast ratio to achieve an AAA rating.
At the Ministry we focus on the AA rating, because of the wide range of branding and interface types we create.
For more information, please visit: https://govtnz.github.io/web-a11y-guidance/ka/accessible-ux-best-practices/colour-and-contrast/
Updated colours to match the new brand identity. Updated semantic and neutral colours.