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Use the world’s ugliest color in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Make an unpleasant point with the world’s ugliest color. A ‘drab dark green’ can be used in any Word document, Excel sheet or PowerPoint slide. And we’ll explain the recommended complement color and font.

It’s not our opinion, but the market researched result of an effort to find the most unappealing color. 

A three-month study looked for the most awful color for tobacco packaging under Australia’s then unique plain packaging laws.  Lime green, beige, dark grey and even mustard all were discarded in favor of a color that smokers and tobacco companies were sure to dislike, especially when combined with a stark warning, fixed font type & size plus some truly disgusting photos (see the end of this article).

Similar laws have followed the Aussie lead in UK, many European countries, Thailand and even Saudi Arabia.

Ugliest Color in Microsoft Office

Go to the color selector in any Office product for font, background or whatever. Choose Custom and enter the RGB values.

Hex: #4A412A

RGB: 74, 65, 42
Officially it’s Pantone 448 C

Office for Mac

Macs have their own impressive color selectors that Office for Mac uses. Choose the Color Sliders, RGB Sliders then type the Hex or RGB codes.

Ugliest color in action

Here’s a sample of an Australian cigarette packet with the ugly color.

Sample of Aussie plain packaging for tobacco products.

Everything about the packaging is tightly controlled.

Text and complement for the ugliest color

Even the text font, size and color is set in Aussie law.  We’ve used the same font and color in our two example slides above.

Font: Lucida Sans

Color:  #D0D0CE or RGB: 208, 208, 206 is a good complementary color for background or text.

The same color is now a nail polish called Compost.

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