Colors on the Web


When it comes to web accessibility, color can also be an issue. Different monitors have different color depths (the number of colors they can display), screen brightness (gamma), pixel resolution and dimensions. Plus simple factors such as the ambient light where a person's monitor is located can have an effect on the perceived color.


Colors Modes

There are two color modes in graphic and web design: RGB and CMYK


What is RGB Color Mode?




The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue lights are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, (R) red, (G) green, and (B) blue. The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers, though it has also been used in conventional and digital photography.



What is CMYK Color Mode?



Image: CMYK ink tanks of a color printer


CMYK color model also known as process or four color, is a subtractive color modeused in color printing, and is used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in color printing (C) cyan, (M) magenta, (Y) yellow, and (K) black.



Which Color Mode Should I use for Web?


Make sure to only use RGB colors for web graphics.



Color Harmony?


Color harmony is the art and knowledge of putting together colors that work well with each other and look good together. Use Adobe Kuler website to experiment with colors: (or in Photoshop: Window > Extensions > Kuler)



HTML Colors


In HTML, you can specify color in one of the following three ways:

  • Color Name: blue
  • Hexadecimal value: #0000ff
  • RGB value: rgb(0,0,255)



Color Names


HTML specifies only sixteen color names shown in the chart:


Color Names


Hexadecimal Values


The most common and accurate method for specifying color is the color hexadecimal value. Although color names are easier to remember, the hexadecimal values are more precise and provide you with more color options. Hexadecimal values are a combination of letters and numbers. The numbers go from 0 - 9 and the letters go from A to F. Hexadecimal color values are preceded by a hash sign (#).


Working with 16 Million Colors

By using hexadecimal or RGB color values, you have a choice of over 16 million different colors. You can start with 000000 and increment by one value all the way up to FFFFFF. Each different value represents a slightly different color. You won't need to remember every single hexadecimal color. You can use the color picker in Photoshop to specify the color codes or use an online resource:



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