The Motive Web Design Glossary
websafe colours, web palette
The websafe palette consists of 216 colours that when displayed on a
256-colour (8 bit) monitor will be displayed as continuous flat colours.
These colours will be rendered as flat colours on both Windows and Macintosh
platforms - as to hue and saturation, well...
Hexadecimal system (base 16)
When defining colours in CSS, hexadecimal codes may be abbreviated to a single-digit for each of the 2-digit pairs; e.g.
#FF0033 may be abbreviated to
The hexadecimal counting system consists of 16 unique symbols;
- numbers from 0-9
- letters from A-F
Counting in hexadecimal:
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F, where
0 is null and
F is the highest value.
Specifying websafe colours (using hexadecimal notation)
Colours in HTML are specified by a hash
(#) followed by a six-digit hexadecimal number. This number consists of three 2-digit numbers corresponding to red,
green and blue (RGB) values.
#XXxxxx = red
#xxXXxx = green
#xxxxXX = blue
The websafe (216 colour) palette consists of a subset of the possible
hexadecimal combinations and is restricted to three pairs of the same
value at 20% increments, i.e.:
00 33 66 99 CC FF
#000000 = black
#FF0000 = 100% red
#00FF00 = 100% green
#0000FF = 100% blue
#FFFFFF = white
References and further reading
- Colour scheme accessibility checkers/simulators
Tools that simulate common visual impairments or enable colour schemes to be evaluated.
- How to make figures and presentations that are friendly to color blind people (J*Fly: Data depository for Dropsophila researchers)
- Color Glossary (SAP Design Guild)
Colour and visual perception terms used in graphic design, web design and usability.
- Screen/web colour scheme generation tools
- Color Scheme Chooser GX (Site Pro Central)
Based on the colour theory pioneered by Johannes Itten in the mid-1900s.
- Color Scheme Designer (wellstyled.com)
Choose a colour to generate the corresponding, mono, contrast, triad, tetrad and analogic colour complements. Then dial up a variation from pastel, dark pastel, light pastel, contrast or pale. Finally, emulate how those with varying types of colour perception disorders will view your colour scheme.
- Color Schemer Online
- Hexadecimal Colour Calculation (splintered)
Enter a hexadecimal code to generate tints of the original and corresponding complementary colours (along with hexadecimal codes).
hexadecimal color codes (Davesite)
Provides hexadecimal colour examples.
- Visibone Webmasters
Online resource allowing you to select and compare
websafe colours and display the corresponding hexadecimal values.
- Web-smart palette (morecrayons.com)
Expanding to 4096 colours by using the ‘in-between’ hexadecimal value pairs; 11, 22, 44, 55, etc.
- Web builders’ Toolkit: Color Tools (The Crispen Family)
Directory of colour scheme creation tools and articles on colour theory.
Motive Web Design Glossary Trivia