So much for web safe colours

Whenever I’m faced with a web design decision, it almost always involve the issue of colour. I will test and tune the colour theme and combination of graphics, page elements and text colours. Then I’ll have to switch to a low resolution setting with a colour depth from the early 20th century. Why do I care about this unthinkable and ugly setting?

Because some of my users still live in prehistoric times.

They are totally fine with Windows applications running on drab grey backgrounds, icons that seem to be straight out of a 3 year old’s art experiment and hideous colour combinations such as bright green, blinding yellow and depressing slate blue. And they are absolutely comfortable with web applications looking like those grotesque behemoths of applications they use every day.

I’ve studied proponents of web safe colours, and I say “Enough!”. We have to embrace our gift of sight. The human eye is capable to distinguishing many colours. Computer hardware and web browsers have evolved to the point where there are colours displayed which the human eye cannot separate with accuracy. We. Have. 32. Bit. Colour. Experience all the colours.

Now, the .Net Framework provides the KnownColor enumeration, so I’ve used that as a base. I wrote a C# program to generate a reference HTML page with the colours and their names and hexadecimal values in it. Every time I’m stuck, I’ll pull up this reference page and look for the closest colour I desire. Then I’ll dump that hexadecimal value into my image processing application for finer adjustments.

So much for web safe colours.

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