As you start to poke around in your blog settings, you may find a spot or two where you have the ability to change default colors to match a color palette or scheme you have put together. One of these places is in the options for the “CTC” tag cloud. Our templates will always ask you to enter a color code that starts with # and is six numbers long. What do these numbers mean?
Computer monitors emit color as RGB, or Red, Green, and Blue light. This is different from printing color that uses the CMYK system for ink. Since we are worried about RGB values for the blogs, I am going to stick with discussing only RGB here. If you would like to learn more about the differences between RGB and CYMK, I suggest reading Printernational’s explanation, it is brief, but to the point.
So now that we know that colors displayed combine values of red, green, and blue light. HTML, short for HyperText Markup Language, the dominant language used to create certain effects on text and images. HTML defines colors through a hexadecimal notation (HEX) to indicate how much Red, Green, and Blue there is in a color.
HEX values begin with a # sign and are made up of 6 numbers. The six numbers are actually three-pairs of two-digit numbers each pair for a color. The lowest HEX value is 00 (equal to “0” in R,G, or B) and the highest HEX value is FF (equal to “255” in R, G, or B).
HUH? Let’s look at a few examples.
- Black has a HEX value of #000000 because black’s RGB value is 0 red, 0 green, and 0 blue.
- A true red has a HEX value of #FF0000 because a true red’s RGB value has all (255) red, 0 green, and 0 blue.
- A true green has a HEX value of #00FF00 because a true green’s RGB value has 0 red, all (255) green, and 0 blue.
- A true blue has a HEX value of #0000FF because a true blue’s RGB value has 0 red, 0 green, and all (255) blue
- White has a HEX value of #FFFFFF because white’s RGB value is all (255) red, all (255) green, and all (255) blue.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
To choose a color for your blog, you do not need to understand how to come up with the above values. Lucky for us, there are hundreds of resources that give us a chart of colors and their corresponding HEX colors. What you do need to find is the six digit code beginning with the # sign. A while ago, computers were able to only support a maximum of 256 colors (now millions are possible), and of those 256 colors, a list of 216 of them became the web-standards and are good to use by rule of thumb to know that your intended color will display as accurately as possible.
WHERE DO I FIND COLOR VALUE NUMBERS?
Here are some of my “go-to” lists that will show you the color and their corresponding HEX values.
BonneyArmstrong.com gives the full list of safe colors with their corresponding RGB values
2CreateAWebSite.com allows to mix your color like a traditional color wheel and generates the HEX value for you.
ColorSchemer.com not only gives you HEX values, but helps to build an actual color palette