Drop Down Menu

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hexidecimal color

Many years ago when the internet was first available to the general public, and most people thought it was the latest fad, the internet didn’t have color.  Anything you saw online had a grey screen with black type. You could surf a topic and get to the end of available pages for that topic quickly.  Of course we have gone quit far in a short amount of time.

The color system put into place for the internet is called hexadecimal color which is a combination of letters and numbers put together to represent a specific color.  Anyone that has worked in offset printing has worked with CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) or Pantone color systems, and hexadecimal is a color system providing web safe colors.  Although color has come a long way there are still some hues that don’t convert nicely to viewing on a screen so it is important we always choose from web safe colors for anything that will be viewed digitally.

I personally use Photoshop, Fireworks or Illustrator to choose my hexadecimal colors but not everyone can afford these programs.  There is a way to calculate the color code using RGB (red, green, blue) values.  An RGB color is going to have a value that ranging from 0 to 255.  For example this color used 175 red, 40 green and 40 blue.

To convert this to a hexadecimal color I would use a formula that looks something like this one:
R/16 = X + y/16
G/16 = X + y/16
B/16 = X + y/16

Or for the color we have our formula would look like:
175/16  = X + y/16
40/16     = X + y/16
40/16     = X + y/16

The whole number will be ‘x’ and the remainder as a decimal would be ‘y’.
175/16  = 11 + 0/16
40/16     = 2 + .5/16
40/16     = 2 + .5/16
Take the decimal point number times 16 to get a whole number.
175/16  = 11 + 0/16
40/16     = 2 + 8 /16
40/16     = 2 + 8/16

So if we take out our calculations we have:
11, 0, 2, 8, 2, 8

Numbers are represented in 1 – 9, but we have 11 as one of our calculations.  Starting with 10 we replace the number with the coordinating letter for that number.
10 = A, 11 = B, 12 = C, 13 = D, 14=E, 15=F  (it doesn’t go higher than 15).

So our hexadecimal color would be: B02828

The color converted nicely from our original.

Ok, so you don’t really want to go through all this effort to choose colors so I suggest finding a color chart online. Not usually as complete of an option as calculating but will at least get you rolling visually with color.  I recommend using  http://w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp.

Happy Coloring!  ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment