Colour is an Optional Feature of BOVS Diagrams. Colour can be used to make ownership and control information easier to see at a glance.

Ownership and control information should each be assigned a distinct colour. They may be any colours you like, so long as they contrast well. Ownership and control information must then be shown in these colours consistently across your diagram.


How to add colour to a BOVS Diagram

You should now think of each Arrow as consisting of two half-arrows, one half for the ownership part of the interest and one half for the control part. Which half is which follows the Chirality rule, that is:

  • In vertical diagrams, the left side of the Arrow is for ownership, and the right side is for control.
  • In horizontal diagrams, the lower side of the Arrow is for ownership, and the upper side is for control

Colour each half-arrow using your chosen colours for ownership and control.

Arrows should always have a complete end cap, even if they only represent one type of interest.

Line Weight

BOVS Diagram with Optional Features for both Colour and Line Weight

The Colour feature is best combined with the Optional Feature for Line Weight. If doing so, the rules for drawing the line weight proportionally are applied to each half-arrow independently.


If using the Optional Feature for Annotation, you may also choose to colour your annotation text using your chosen colours.


You may choose any two colours to use; we expect different organisations to use their own brand colours. The standard used by OpenOwnership is:

  • Purple for ownership information
  • Cyan for control information

Selecting colours that are close to this pattern may be worthwhile, to increase the likelihood that your readers will have come across the same colour scheme before.

So that the colours chosen for ownership and control stand out, and the significance of colour in the diagram is clear, you should refrain from using bold colours for any other parts of your diagram.