With no unfairness to Litko and similar companies offering bright plastic wargame markers, together with employment of other brightly coloured beads and such which in my opinion many wargamers unfortunately use I feel there is no need for such indicators to be such an eyesore.
Why not use a casualty figure as a 'hit' marker? Or extra pieces of equipment as a 'shaken' indicator rather than a red bead? Looks better on the table does it not?
I hosted a game awhile back for which I took elaborate effort to write out the scenario for each player to read. It indicated the direction of each planned attack. One player could not remember which direction on the table was 'North' and asked the question many times! Frustrated, I scribbled a large arrow on a white piece of paper. And yes, this glaring white piece of paper had to be left for the duration of the game. Sigh.
I mentally examined the problem of how to mark direction upon the table ( i.e. "Which way is North?") and leave it for the duration the game, be applicable for all eras, and without it being too obtrusive.
one possible solution: