What color is that?

What color is that?

Color is an important factor in design, whether it’s print or digital. But colors can be so subjective. After all, is your mental image of light blue exactly the same as mine? Probably not.

“I want all the buttons on my site to be green.” OK. Forest green? Lime green? Mint?

In a world of indefinite color labels, how can you be sure your design has the right palette? The solution may be within your computer.

Computers use a mathematical series of combinations called the hexadecimal code, or HEX for short, to determine exact digital colors. HEX colors are made up of a combination of the numbers 1-10 and the letters A-F. These number and letter combos are always preceded by a # symbol.  So, for example, a basic green HEX would be #00ff00.

Each HEX is made up of three parts. The first two characters in the code represent the amount of red, the second two represent the amount of green and the last two represent the amount of blue. These are the colors that you see on any digital platform (RGB: Red, Green & Blue).

There are over 15 million possible color combinations, which may seem daunting. But don’t worry, your web designer will know the cornflower blue rollover effect you want is simply #6495ED. When working in web, this color system creates the exact same palette every time.

And the next time someone asks you what your favorite color is, you can confidently declare that it’s precisely #7ac59f.

Kali Edwards