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Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

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Color on the Web

The Web requires designers to think about color in new ways. In part, it means understanding color in a more technical manner—the appearance of a page can benefit greatly if a designer knows what’s going on “under the hood.” The peculiarities of working with color in web design are functions of the following simple principles:

Monitors

Web pages are displayed on computer monitors, therefore they follow the basic rules of how computers and monitors handle color.

Browsers

Because browsers have built-in resources for rendering color when running on systems with limited color display capacity, they can alter the appearance of the colors in your pages.

HTML

Colors on a web page that are not part of a graphic (for example, background and text colors) need to be properly identified in the HTML tags of the document. This topic is covered in more detail in Chapter 16.

Color on Computer Monitors

Color on monitors is made of light, so traditional systems for specifying color for print (CMYK, Pantone swatches, etc.) do not apply. Monitors differ in the number of colors they can display at a time. On the high end, 24-bit monitors are capable of displaying nearly 17 million colors. 16-bit monitors can display over 65 thousand colors. On the low end, 8-bit monitors are able to display only 256 colors at a time.

RGB color

Computer monitors display colors by combining red, green, and blue light. This color system is known as RGB color.

RGB color is a 24-bit system, with eight bits of ...

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