The Use Of Color In Better Call Saul

Michelle Mac
4 min readFeb 22, 2023

This article was re-posted from my weekly newsletter. Want to read it a week early? Subscribe to Design Insight.

Spoiler Warning: I will be talking about the TV Show Better Call Saul. I won’t be discussing any plotlines but I will be including some shots from the show so depending on how spoiler averse you are here is your warning.

The use of color in Better Call Saul is a really important part of the show.

Whether it be the color of the scenery, the costumes, or the color thrown from various light sources, everything is deliberately chosen to give a specific meaning.

Color is an integral part of the show

I recently finished watching Better Call Saul (BCS) and found the show very enjoyable.

As a Breaking Bad fan, I was curious to see the origin stories of many of the show’s popular characters including Saul Goodman.

I remember the use of color being pretty significant in Breaking Bad; the same is true of this show.

I was always fascinated by the variety of different suits Saul wears throughout the show and wondered why on earth he chose to dress like that.

Captured from Netflix

I was also curious about the use of black and white to denote scenes set in the future i.e. after the events of Breaking Bad.

After taking the time to do a deep dive into this topic there was a boatload of stuff I completely missed regarding color. It’s really had an impact on how I think about watching TV shows going forward.

I find myself wanting to re-watch the show with this new information in mind as it gives a whole new perspective to things.

How Better Call Saul uses color

As with Breaking Bad, BCS uses color as an important signifier for the various characters in the show.

The color palette used in BCS is categorized like this:

  • “Good” characters wear blues, navy, and greens.
  • “Bad” characters wear reds, oranges, and the colors of the New Mexico desert.

I’m using quotes around good and bad because that’s the crux of the whole show: legality vs criminality.

--

--

Michelle Mac

The *heavily edited* ramblings of a technical writer & frontend dev. I write about creativity, design, and productivity. Start here: https://heymichellemac.com/