ggsci 3.0.0

Nan Xiao March 8, 2023 2 min read
3D render from Rodion Kutsaiev.
3D render from Rodion Kutsaiev.

I am delighted to announce the release of ggsci 3.0.0. ggsci provides a collection of color palettes inspired by colors used in scientific journals, data visualization libraries, science fiction movies, and TV shows.

You can install it from CRAN with:


This version brings 7 new color palettes under 3 color scales (COSMIC, Flat UI, Frontiers), multiple improvements, and a new FAQ vignette, giving you more options to create effective data visualizations using ggplot2.

New color palettes


Three COSMIC color palettes are added in ggsci 3.0.0. These color palettes are inspired by the colors used in projects from the Catalogue Of Somatic Mutations in Cancers (COSMIC) and are contributed by Joshua H. Cook.

The hallmarks (light) palette:

The hallmarks (dark) palette:

The signature (substitutions) palette:

Flat UI

Three color palettes from Flat UI Colors 2 are included in ggsci 3.0.0, contributed by Clara Jégousse.

The default palette:

The “flattastic” palette:

The “aussie” palette:


Clara also contributed one color palette with inspirations from Frontiers:

Other notable improvements

A new FAQ vignette is added, with answers to two most frequently asked questions:

  • A simple solution to interpolate the color palettes when the data has more categories than the number of colors in a discrete color scale.
  • A method for applying color scales consistently for multiple ggplot2 plots by setting global options.

The output figure size is now reduced in vignettes and README.Rmd by switching to the ragg PNG device, plus using pngquant via its knitr hook for compression. This change enables future scaling of the gallery, as it eliminates the R CMD check note when installed size > 5Mb. See #16 for more technical details.

Starting with this release, I have switched to a proper, three-component version number (x.y.z) following the Semantic Versioning recommendations. Previously, I have been using x.y only without the z component in every version, which is interpreted by CRAN as equivalent to x.y.0.

See the ggsci changelog for the full list of changes.


A big shout out to Joshua H. Cook and Clara Jégousse for identifying and contributing the new color scales and Dan Chaltiel for the pro tip on global options. A special thanks to the users (8 million total downloads) and package developers (16 reverse imports, 7 reverse suggests) for your consistent support and trust.