Colours speak – The language of colour



Swati Nayyar


24 Mar 2016




As our modelling team today celebrates Holi – the festival of colours – I thought I would share a post about the value of colour in modelling.

Colour as language

Can you imagine a life without language?

Since imagination itself needs a language of sorts, imagining life without it might even be impossible.

Right from the time we are born to the day we sleep forever, one of the pillars of our survival is language.

Can we consider colour as a language? Let’s give a thought, how does nature speak?

How do we know if it is day or night? Is there any language which the sky follows?

How do we know that red is for hot, blood, fire and danger and that blue is for oceans, calm and cool and relaxing?

Colours are beyond words and communicate with us at a deeper level. Colour is a language, through which we perceive the world better.

Colour in Excel

Excel models must clearly communicate information and meaning to their users. To a modeller, building a model might be easy, but making it understandable to users is a challenge which is often neglected.

Colour is a transparent and effective way to communicate meaning within excel models.

Colours work as a language for elegant modelling. Consistent use of a standardised colour palette can greatly increase the readability of models. Marking inputs, imports, exports, calculations etc. with a clearly defined shading and font will immediately communicate to the user important information about their model.

Colours create a visual impact on memory which is easy to retain and easy to communicate. A standardised approach to the use of colour means that teams can work together on the same model with a shared understanding. Every model looks and feels the same and they do not rely on the individual preferred colour scheme of a single modeller.

Please use colour in your models, but use it wisely and with meaning.

Please look out for my next blog on standardisation of modelling. Until then I wish you a happy Holi and a very colourful life!!

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Holi picture

Swati Nayyar
Swati joined F1F9 in April 2010 and is now part of the leadership team in F1F9's India office. She specialises in project finance modelling including operational and portfolio modelling.