Use GOV.UK colours

Methods to access and use the GOV.UK design system colour palette from within the {govukhugo} package. The GOV.UK design system includes a colour palette, these can be accessed via the govuk_colours vector, it includes both Sass variable colour names (e.g. govuk-text-colour) as well as the named colour palette. The GOV.UK colour scheme was not designed with data visualisation in mind. The govuk_palette() function provides an opinionated selection of GOV.UK colours for use in charts (e.g. via ggplot2::scale_fill_manual()).

You should always think carefully about the colours you use in data visualisation and ensure your visualisation does not rely solely on colour to convey meaning. Depending on the nature of your visualisation it may be appropriate to use other colour scales, such as the Color Brewer scales by Cynthia Brewer (available in R through the {RColorBrewer} package).




One of categorical (the default), blue, blrd, bldrd_dark, blyl, putq, or a colour name from govuk_colours


The govuk_colours vector provides all of the colours listed in the Design System colour palettes documentation colour palette, this includes both the palette colours and the Sass named variables (e.g. govuk-text-colour).

Palette colours

  • red   (#d4351c)
  • yellow   (#ffdd00)
  • green   (#00703c)
  • blue   (#1d70b8)
  • dark-blue   (#003078)
  • light-blue   (#5694ca)
  • purple   (#4c2c92)
  • black   (#0b0c0c)
  • dark-grey   (#505a5f)
  • mid-grey   (#b1b4b6)
  • light-grey   (#f3f2f1)
  • white   (#ffffff)
  • light-purple   (#6f72af)
  • bright-purple   (#912b88)
  • pink   (#d53880)
  • light-pink   (#f499be)
  • orange   (#f47738)
  • brown   (#b58840)
  • light-green   (#85994b)
  • turquoise   (#28a197)
  • chart-white   (#f9f8f8)

The chart-white colour is not a GOV.UK official palette colour but included in the palette to enable effective visualisation in charts, see govuk_palette() documentation below.

Sass variables

  • govuk-text-colour   (#0b0c0c)
  • govuk-secondary-text-colour   (#505a5f)
  • govuk-link-colour   (#1d70b8)
  • govuk-link-hover-colour   (#003078)
  • govuk-link-visited-colour   (#4c2c92)
  • govuk-link-active-colour   (#0b0c0c)
  • govuk-border-colour   (#b1b4b6)
  • govuk-input-border-colour   (#0b0c0c)
  • govuk-focus-colour   (#ffdd00)
  • govuk-focus-text-colour   (#0b0c0c)
  • govuk-error-colour   (#d4351c)
  • govuk-success-colour   (#00703c)
  • govuk-brand-colour   (#1d70b8)


The govuk_palette() function provides an opinionated selection of GOV.UK colours for use in charts (e.g. via ggplot2::scale_fill_manual()). It has a single argument, pal, which must be one of categorical, blues, blrd, blrd_dark, blyl, putq or one of the names from the govuk_colours vector.

Categorical palette

The categorical palette provides a set of colours for displaying discrete categories where a distinction between the categories is valuable. It provides 6 colours:

  • blue   (#1d70b8)
  • orange   (#f47738)
  • turquoise   (#28a197)
  • bright-purple   (#912b88)
  • yellow   (#ffdd00)
  • dark-blue   (#003078)

Sequential palettes

The blues palette provides the three GOV.UK blues in sequential order from dark to light:

  • dark-blue   (#003078)
  • blue   (#1d70b8)
  • light-blue   (#5694ca)

If you wish to use another GOV.UK for a sequential palette, supplying a name from govuk_colours as the pal argument will return two colours for use as end-points in a sequential palette, the original colour and a version of the colour that is roughly a third lighter. For example:

  • govuk_palette("yellow") returns   (#ffdd00) and   (#ffeeb7)
  • govuk_palette("green") returns   (#00703c) and   (#aecab5)

Divergent palettes

There are four palettes for use in divergent colour scales, using chart-white as their mid-point:

  • blrd which uses GOV.UK blue and red as its end-points:      
  • blrd_dark which uses GOV.UK dark blue as its blue end-point and a darker red of the same hue as GOV.UK red as its red end-point:      
  • blyl which uses GOV.UK blue and yellow as its end-points:      
  • putq which uses GOV.UK purple and turquoise as its end-points: