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Nord Design System uses a color system to guide our users, create a branded look-and-feel, draw attention to important information, and make content more accessible for everyone.

Nord Color System

When designing digital products you can use Nord’s color system to pick color combinations that work harmoniously, adapt based on usage, and provide support for different appearance modes like light and dark.

Principles #

Use sparingly and intentionally #

Nord uses functional coloring that supports products designed to be run on workstations. Color is used to communicate not to decorate. We use color sparingly and intentionally in order to emphasize important information. The color system facilitates all-day use while minimizing visual fatigue.

Utilize color roles #

We offer a curated palette of colors that are intended for specific roles within Nord. For example, we apply consistent coloring to components such as text, status, buttons, and navigation. This helps users to identify a component and understand its relationship to its environment.

Make it accessible #

When the color system is applied, it will be in compliance with color accessibility standards. We support WCAG 2.1 level AA which requires 4.5:1 contrast for text. We never rely solely on color for communication in Nord. Accessibility ensures that our product works for people with visual impairments and improves legibility for all users.

Applying colors to interface #

Nord uses common patterns of color application to create consistency and convey meaning. The below sections explain in detail how to use and apply Nord Design System’s colors in different contexts.

Surface colors #

Surface colors are the default UI surfaces for applications. Surface colors are used for pages, modals, tables, headers, and cards. Surfaces live on top of backgrounds. All content such as text, buttons, forms, and icons should be placed on a surface.

The basic structure of an application in Nord is Background > Surface > Content.

Surface colors

Text colors #

Text always appears on a surface and contains modifiers to indicate hierarchy, status, and importance.

Text colors

Accent colors #

This is the accent color for a design. It is used as primary button background, hero area background, link color, and selected state.

Accent colors

This is the color for sidebar navigation. The sidebar color helps to distinguish navigation from other surfaces.

Navigation colors

Border colors #

Borders can define the edges of a component or separate content areas.

Border colors

Status colors #

Color can be used to highlight important information by giving it a status. For example the green success status indicates a strong positive state.

Status colors

Button colors #

Button colors are used to define the default button style and states in Nord.

Button colors

Icon colors #

Icon colors should be used when an icon is placed on a surface. If an icon appears on the accent color, use the text-on-accent color in place of the default icon color.

Icon colors

Figma usage #

You can find the color styles from Nord Light Theme and Nord Dark Theme files.

Getting support #

Have a question about color usage? Please head over to the Support page for more guidelines and ways to contact us.

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