Skip to main content

A lightweight package for generating visually distinct colours.

Project description

distinctipy logo

tests build DOI Documentation Status

distinctipy is a lightweight python package providing functions to generate colours that are visually distinct from one another.

Commonly available qualitative colormaps provided by the likes of matplotlib generally have no more than 20 colours, but for some applications it is useful to have many more colours that are clearly different from one another. distinctipy can generate lists of colours of any length, with each new colour added to the list being as visually distinct from the pre-existing colours in the list as possible.


distinctipy is designed for Python 3 and can be installed with pip by running:

pip install distinctipy

Alternatively clone the repo and install it locally:

git clone
cd distinctipy
pip install .

Usage and Examples

distinctipy can:

  • Generate N visually distinct colours: distinctipy.get_colors(N)
  • Generate colours that are distinct from an existing list of colours: distinctipy.get_colors(N, existing_colors)
  • Generate pastel colours: distinctipy.get_colors(N, pastel_factor=0.7)
  • Select black or white as the best font colour for any background colour: distinctipy.get_text_color(background_color)
  • Convert lists of colours into matplotlib colormaps: distinctipy.get_colormap(colors)
  • Invert colours: distinctipy.invert_colors(colors)
  • Nicely display generated colours: distinctipy.color_swatch(colors)
  • Compare distinctipy colours to other common colormaps: examples.compare_clusters() and examples.compare_colors()
  • Simulate how colours look for someone with colourblindness: colorblind.simulate_colors(colors, colorblind_type='Deuteranomaly')
  • Attempt to generate colours as distinct as possible for someone with colourblindness distinctipy.get_colors(N, existing_colors, colorblind_type="Deuteranomaly")

For example, to create and then display N = 36 visually distinct colours:

from distinctipy import distinctipy

# number of colours to generate
N = 36

# generate N visually distinct colours
colors = distinctipy.get_colors(N)

# display the colours

More detailed usage and example output can be found in the notebook examples.ipynb and examples gallery.


distinctipy was heavily influenced and inspired by several web sources and stack overflow answers. In particular:


Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

distinctipy-1.2.0.tar.gz (27.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

distinctipy-1.2.0-py3-none-any.whl (25.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page