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I'm in the process with our supplier of upgrading the technology behind our Flight Information Display System for our airport, this runs the flight information screens in the terminal showing the departures / arrivals information. With that comes the opportunity to give the information screens a bit of a facelift, currently it looks a bit like this:

enter image description here

I'm looking for some ideas / best practices on updating the colours and fonts for the information screens to make it A. look good and B. easily readable from a distance.

Most other airports that I've been to recently tend to have a black background with a combination of white / yellow text like this:

enter image description here

Ideally I don't want to go for a carbon copy of that but is it one of the best font / colour combinations for readability etc?

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  • Have the company where you work a set of corporate colors? Which are them? It would be interesting to include them in the question, perhaps among them is the answer.
    – Danielillo
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 9:47
  • @Danielillo, the airport's logo uses blue (#267EB7) and grey (#B7B8BA) which don't lend themselves well to information screens, other than that there isn't really a corporate brand to speak of Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 10:08

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I think you already have a lot of information regarding colors, together with the corporate colors there are technical colors that should be used:

  • Corporate colors
  • Text color
  • Flight text color
  • Flight Status colors

enter image description here

Having this information, it only remains to know the background color. It has to be dark, the technical colors should be clearly visible.

Avoiding black, and using the corporate colors:

Using Blue #267EB7

blue

Using Grey #B7B8BA

grey

In my personal opinion it could be between dark grey and the darker blue.

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    Thanks @Danielillo, I've made a few mockups using your suggested colour palettes and they look good, I especially like the dark blue background personally. However, as Gosia mentions in their answer, some of the colours don't quite meet accessability guidelines when doing a contrast check (like the red / blue on the dark blue background). Whilst we're not covered by any accessability laws, as a public service we need to make sure that we try our best on that front. Maybe a slight adjustment to the red / blue text to make them lighter will suffice? Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 15:49
  • I guess the official colors haven't any institutional hexa or RGB. I'm not into legal flight colors ;-). But I think the future use in screens may accept little modifications. At list it's just a practical point, while the passenger can see the flight status, doesn't matter red or little dark red or lighter red.
    – Danielillo
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 16:04
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The main purpose of this display is to display flight information in the most readable and clearest way possible (not necessary to promote a brand).

There is a very valid reason why others use a black background on their displays. If you want to make sure that important information is accessible to everyone the design needs to meet accessibility requirements. If you use other backgrounds than black people may have problems to read it because of too low contrast. Green and red colours are especially tricky for colour blind people.

It is worth to use contrast checker to check if there is a sufficient contrast between the background and the text. (there is not that much of a difference between web accessibility and public displays accessibility)

I don't know where are you from but some countries have a law around accessibility. In the UK the Equality Act 2010 says that if you provide a service for the public you must not discriminate anyone it includes web accessibility. Some countries like for example Ireland even have some guidelines for designing public displays like flight information displays.

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