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Nord: An arctic, north-bluish color palette (nordtheme.com)
118 points by tpetry 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments

Aargh, it's kinda pretty and I want to like it, but it really bugs me that these colors don't actually match their descriptions. It feels like an "arctic" color map made by people who have mainly seen the far north on Instagram.

Especially the "Aurora" palette, which is made up mostly of colors that are extremely rare to see in auroras. But also the light and dark palettes without any blue in them are way off, and the description of arctic ice as green-ish is weird.

Also the visual contrast between e.g. nord7 and nord8 is extremely poor.

Not sure why you're down-voted - that was my initial reaction too. Especially the "aurora" palette seems at odds with the name. Add a red and a purple to the "frost"-palette, and you might at least call it "aurora" with a straight face. That said, I'm not sure pastels like these would ever capture an "artic" feel.

Overall, apart from the lack of contrast, they're not half-bad. But the naming doesn't seem to reflect the colors - it seems rather arbitrary.

I have seen lots of color palettes that look just as nice as these.

But in terms of marketing and positioning a color palette, this is a really superb effort.

The Nordic inspiration and theme, the association of emotions (peace, balance) with colors and color combos ... it's all extremely well done.

Anyone else looking to market this type of work would do well to study it.

I'm baffled why people are suddenly marketing CSS themes

Is it just a demonstration of skill?

And developers should study it, then create a simple site generator where you can enter the palette, a name, some text and spit out the same site for whatever custom scheme you want.

Sometimes in the North the light will shine too brightly off the snow and blind a person a bit https://color.a11y.com/Contrast/ finds 10 color contrast issues.

And really some of the color combinations were just obviously not going to pass.

But I agree it's pretty nice, and the marketing is mad men quality for a color palette.

Why should every color pallet follow accessibility standards? Especially when it is for personal use..

I assume that persons with poor eyesight may want to use things in their capacity as persons. But sure one can decide to not provide the possibility.

Sounds like this project may be intending to write one, but is there any existing documentation on syntax colouring that goes beyond "what we thought looked nice"?

For example, what should have similar colours and why, what should stand out the most. How far apart do two colours need to be to be effective for the various tasks involved in writing and understanding code and so on. Is there s trial research on this?

> Sounds like this project may be intending to write one, but is there any existing documentation on syntax colouring that goes beyond "what we thought looked nice"?

I tried to do something link this with a color scheme for VSCode https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=narenran... . Some highlights:

* Warm Colors are used for action keywords - throw, return in programming languages, links in Markdown files.

* Cold colors are used for definitions - Function names, variable values etc.

* Muted neutral colors are used for punctuation, comments, and anything else which detracts from the code.

I've been meaning to write a more detailed post on this (as well as an update), but comments/feedback welcome!

    > is there any existing documentation on syntax colouring that goes beyond "what we thought looked nice"?
That's perhaps not the best way to think about it.

Graphic designers and typographers fret about this stuff constantly. There are theories of color which describe how to combine colors in visually effective ways. It's part subjective, part prescriptive and part aesthetic.

Someone could probably put together a large suite of complex experiments to figure out (or re-confirm) some fundamental truths about color when it comes to syntax, and maybe be able to make statistically faint claims about one theme being better than another. But what would one accomplish after all that objective research other than coming up with yet another cool-looking color scheme for folks to select on their IDE drop-downs?

At the end of the day, you the user, has infinite freedom to select from hundreds of thoughtful preconfigured color and font themes, or, optionally compose your own. Isn't that good enough?

Sounds like that could make for a great PhD project! I would be interested in hiring a student to do that :)

These are lovely! I might use this in some cartography work.

Do these palettes take color blindness/accessibility into account? I looked around on the site (admittedly not thoroughly) but didn’t see this addressed.

Speaking as a colorblind person browsing that page:

I don't think they did.

I’ve used this theme for 3 years or more now and I can’t live without it.

It’s soothing and distinct at the same time. I have everything in this color range. There are few themes with such a wide range of ports. The support is fantastic too! Everything is on github and monitored.

Give it a spin, you won’t regret it!

Any link to your works that uses this theme?

Sorry, I now realize I've been very sloppy with my wording: I use this as a Terminal theme (Windows Console Host) [0] (you need ColorTool, which supports iterm format for themes), a vim theme (nord-vim) [1], for dircolors [2], and a tmux theme (nord-tmux) [3].

[0] https://github.com/arcticicestudio/nord-iterm2

[1] https://github.com/arcticicestudio/nord-vim

[2] https://github.com/arcticicestudio/nord-dircolors

[3] https://github.com/arcticicestudio/nord-tmux

Interesting. I've had the idea for generating palettes based upon captured nature scenes or animals, especially birds and fish. Now that I think about it, take it a step further to include the habitat, and there you go: ecosystem palettes.

I wrote a simple web app to find the five most dominant colours in a photo, and present them as a bottom layer to the uploaded photo with the hexadecimal code included. So much used, at least by myself I love to see detected colours in all sorts of scenes or motives.

I used to Photoshop>Pixellate a nice photograph very coarsely, and cherry pick a few colours from the resulting "swatch". Not sure how sound a method it was, but it got me past analysis paralysis when starting a new project.

I have used Nord for years and added it in https://noobs-term.com (terminal configuration).

Coworkers commented on how nice my terminal looked and wanted to replicate it.

Looking at the Github page it doesn't look like it's maintained very well. Some of the work on ports haven't been updated for 2 years.

Do you have any specific reason to imply they're not maintained? Most of those ports look like "Done" to me. When something is Done, then it's a good thing they don't mess around with it for no good reason.

I tried this several months ago. It's beautiful, but I find it lacking in usability. The lack of contrast is a little more straining on my eyes than I'd like

The theme looks a lot like Solarized dark but with a little more blue. I don't really "get" why I should prefer this theme to any of the many other color themes out there.

MS-DOS Shell called, it wants its aesthetic back

That would be Cobalt2 which is another fantastic blue-based theme :)

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