Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More





How’s Your Color?

VisiBone’s new web color kilochartAfter announcing VisiBone’s new Web Color Kilochart here Monday, an interesting discussion about color began at the top-notch Wise Women discussion list.

In addition to discussing whether or not we stick to the web-safe palette, we also discussed monitor calibration. Here are a couple of the wonderful resources mentioned:

  • Optimize Your Monitor for Web Viewing, by Ed Morris. He has comparison graphics to check black and white, brightness and contrast, and color. (Note 12 March 2008: link gone)
  • Calibrating Your Monitor, at Jasc (makers of PaintShop Pro) has good information and charts to check brightness and contrast calibration, a monitor gamma estimator. (Note 12 March 2008: link gone)

More that I recommend:

  • Joe Gillespie also has excellent articles about color and palettes on the Web (page 1 - page 2) and color theory.
  • VisiBone has a color schemer, color charts available online, for purchase, and downloadable swatches for many programs. The site also has a lot of information about color and links to more resources, too.
  •’s Color section has several excellent color charts available. You’ll also find links to many more color charts, tools to help you figure out color schemes, information about color blindness, color psychology, and more.

A quick overview of my thoughts about color and the Web right now:

  • Calibrate your monitor and use a high quality monitor to create your designs.
  • Educate yourself and stay up to date on the latest about color, the general differences between Macs and PCs, the differences among the various types of monitors, and always keep these differences in mind when creating designs and making decisions about colors for sites.
  • Make use of tools within Photoshop and other graphics programs to see differences between Macs and PCs for your work. For Photoshop, for example, go to View>Proof Setup>Mac (or choose Windows) to get an idea of the differences between these two OSs.
  • View your work on as many different monitors and types of monitors as possible. Ask others to check for you, too, and provide feedback about color shifting, color accuracy, and other visual inconsistencies.
  • Remember that there is no way to guarantee that the colors will look the same on every monitor and platform out there. Instead, you can be guaranteed that they will NOT look the same. Be sure your clients know that, too.


See also Friday’s post for more on color.

09:45 am, pdt17 April, 2002 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Design, Development, Graphics


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