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Dynamically Choosing Accessible Contrasting Colors For Your Theme Using SCSS

Ability to change color theme is a powerful feature and here is an easier way to achieve it while ensuring that accessibility is not compromised and text colors automatically adjusts according to the choosen theme.

  1. For this implementation, we need to ensure that there is consistency across our UI components. For example if the basic theme colors are as follows.
$color-primary: #cde8e7;
$color-secondary: #368fa4;
$text-light: #e8e6e6;
$text-dark: #03525b;
  1. Then we can calculate whether to use $text-light or $text-dark for text-primary and text-secondary colors. And we can calculate this by using the below formula.
@function text-contrast($n, $w, $b) {
  $color-brightness: round((red($n) * 299) + (green($n) * 587) + (blue($n) * 114) / 1000);
  $light-color: round((red(#ffffff) * 299) + (green(#ffffff) * 587) + (blue(#ffffff) * 114) / 1000);

  @if abs($color-brightness) < ($light-color/2) {
    @return $w;
  } @else {
    @return $b;
  1. Now let's set the text colors for primary and secondary background colors.
$text-primary: text-contrast($color-primary, $text-light, $text-dark);
$text-secondary: text-contrast($color-secondary, $text-light, $text-dark);
  1. Next, all we need to ensure is that there is consistency in our components. If background: $primary then put color: $text-primary and similarly for secondary.

And a good way to do this will be use mixins.

@mixin primary() {
  background: $color-primary;
  color: $text-primary;

@mixin secondary() {
  background: $color-secondary;
  color: $text-secondary;
  1. That's all the smart work needed. Feel free to add other required properties as well. Now, in our components we can simply include this mixins to ensure consistency.
.primary-box {
  @include primary;
  height: 200px;
  width: 200px;

.secondary-box {
  @include secondary;

That's all we need to switch between different themes on the fly without losing accessiblity and maintaining proper color-contrasts for easily readable text.

Here's a codepen to play with the code

Thanks for reading all along. Let me know your feedback/suggestions in the comments.

- Ayush 🙂