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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal


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Illustrator CS4 for the Web

with Mordy Golding

Video: Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal

Like just about any design medium web design has its own set of challenges. And one of those challenges is around color. In other words if you specify a color on your computer screen, how do you know that that color is going to display correctly on other computer screens? Think about that box of crayons that you had when you are growing up. Maybe you had their uber-pack, you had like 256 crayons. Wow! That's a lot of colors. But what if your friend only had 16 crayons in their box? If you created some kind of a graphic or some kind of picture or drawing with your crayons and you want your friend to create the exact same drawing, could they possibly define the exact same colors and draw with the colors that you have? They don't even have the colors that you do.
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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Understanding pixel- and vector-based web graphics
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 10m 27s
    1. Using the Web New Document Profile
      1m 56s
    2. Creating your own New Document Profiles
      1m 57s
    3. Taking advantage of web templates and content
      1m 48s
    4. Setting up a custom web workspace
      4m 46s
  3. 23m 42s
    1. Setting measurement preferences
      1m 11s
    2. Setting preview bounds
      2m 38s
    3. Setting grid preferences
      2m 18s
    4. Understanding Pixel Preview
      3m 54s
    5. Understanding anti-aliasing
      5m 3s
    6. Disabling anti-aliasing
      2m 35s
    7. Setting up color management
      6m 3s
  4. 9m 49s
    1. Comparing pixel dimension and resolution
      2m 26s
    2. Grid is good, grid is great
      4m 45s
    3. Working with multiple artboards
      2m 38s
  5. 10m 1s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal
      4m 31s
    2. Pulling colors from Kuler
      1m 43s
    3. Using the Color Guide with web-safe colors
      1m 48s
    4. Converting art to web-safe or limited colors
      1m 59s
  6. 22m 5s
    1. Understanding slicing
      1m 36s
    2. Using manual slicing
      2m 16s
    3. Using object-based slicing
      2m 33s
    4. Comparing user slices and auto slices
      1m 57s
    5. Applying settings to slices
      4m 59s
    6. Defining an image map
      3m 46s
    7. Working with slices
      4m 58s
  7. 10m 45s
    1. Making text look good on the web
      2m 58s
    2. Adding reflections
      2m 42s
    3. Applying rounded corners
      1m 7s
    4. Creating dynamic text buttons
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 54s
    1. Optimizing web graphics
      2m 41s
    2. Comparing GIF, JPG, PNG, and WBMP files
      6m 38s
    3. Setting up transparency and matte
      2m 52s
    4. Adjusting image dimensions
      2m 7s
    5. Optimizing to a specific file size
      2m 27s
    6. Editing output settings
      3m 9s
  9. 4m 3s
    1. Understanding Illustrator and Flash workflows
      2m 42s
    2. Understanding SVG
      1m 21s
  10. 19m 14s
    1. Defining symbols in Illustrator
      5m 23s
    2. Editing symbols in Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Choosing a symbol type
      2m 7s
    4. Setting the Flash registration
      1m 23s
    5. Using 9-slice scaling
      4m 34s
    6. Defining static and input text
      3m 28s
  11. 14m 17s
    1. Setting preferences in Flash
      1m 27s
    2. Copying and pasting elements
      1m 50s
    3. Exporting entire files
      4m 35s
    4. The Save for Web & Devices dialog
      2m 58s
    5. Exporting SWF files
      3m 27s
  12. 16m 11s
    1. Converting layers to frames
      3m 17s
    2. Working with blends
      3m 11s
    3. Releasing to layers
      3m 44s
    4. Defining static layers
      2m 43s
    5. Adjusting timing
      3m 16s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Working with Photoshop
      2m 18s
    2. Working with Acrobat Pro
      2m 54s
    3. Working with Dreamweaver
      2m 14s
    4. Working with Flash Catalyst
      4m 3s
  14. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS4 for the Web
2h 56m Intermediate Jan 23, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Differentiating between pixel- and vector-based web graphics
  • Creating screen-friendly typography
  • Adding reflections
  • Creating Flash animations
  • Using multiple artboards
  • Bringing art into Dreamweaver
  • Utilizing Flash Catalyst
Subjects:
Web Web Graphics Prototyping Web Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Understanding web-safe colors and hexadecimal

Like just about any design medium web design has its own set of challenges. And one of those challenges is around color. In other words if you specify a color on your computer screen, how do you know that that color is going to display correctly on other computer screens? Think about that box of crayons that you had when you are growing up. Maybe you had their uber-pack, you had like 256 crayons. Wow! That's a lot of colors. But what if your friend only had 16 crayons in their box? If you created some kind of a graphic or some kind of picture or drawing with your crayons and you want your friend to create the exact same drawing, could they possibly define the exact same colors and draw with the colors that you have? They don't even have the colors that you do.

Well, think less about color management and about the display themselves, but think about the graphic cards that are inside of other people's computers. Some graphics cards are far more capable and can draw many more colors than others can. In fact, if the computer is asked to draw a color and it can't create that particular color, it uses something called dithering to try to simulate that color. Sometimes those colors can look really bad. So as a designer sometimes what you try to do is just design or use a color that is kind of the lowest common denominator. You are sure that just about every computer screen out there can draw that color correctly. From a technology point of view computer graphics cards support something called VGA.

This is pretty much the lowest common denominator today. VGA supports the drawing of 256 colors. Now across Mac OS and Windows, which are the most popular computer platforms out there, they differ in about 15 colors, which leaves you with about 241 colors which we refer to as web-safe colors. We are sure that if you use one of those colors, you are guaranteed that that color will display correctly on those computer screens. Now inside of Illustrator you can access this library of 241 web-safe colors pretty easily. Let's switch over to Illustrator and I will show you what I mean.

I will start by coming over to my Swatches panel. From the bottom left-hand corner I click on this icon that will allow me to load additional swatch libraries. By clicking there I can scroll to the bottom and see something called Web. All of the colors that appear inside of this panel right now are what we refer to as web-safe colors. So as I am creating my web design if I use colors only from this collection, I am pretty sure that they will display correctly on any device. As a designer you may find it somewhat difficult to see the colors or choose from them in this is kind of non-intuitive way. There is another library that exist inside of Illustrator called VisiBone2, and I will basically click down here and scroll down to where it says this item.

While it doesn't look that intuitive at first blush, if I kind of resize the panel in a way that all the corners have white squares inside of them, I can see that they kind of appear now as a Color Wheel. In this way I could more intuitively choose a web-safe color. Now I will be honest with you, as a designer I don't appreciate being limited to only work within a certain range of colors. And nowadays most people do have monitors or graphics card that do exceed the limit of 256 colors. And what can really be helpful is as a designer knowing who your target market is.

For example, if you are creating something for artwork that's going to be displayed or viewed mainly here in United States, most people do have modern hardware and they will be able to see more colors. So feel free to use whatever color you would like. However, if your web designs will be viewed from third world countries that may not have the latest in hardware, you may want to limit yourself to using a web-safe color. Let's take a look over here on the Color panel itself. Notice that I have the ability to choose RGB values. But on the left side over here there is a little square, a cube, that's indicating that the color that I have chosen right now is not a web-safe color. If I were to click on that cube, Illustrator will automatically find the closest web-safe color and it's kind of snap to that particular color.

And you notice that the values here are set to 51, 51, and 51. However, when you are working with HTML, colors are specified using something called hexadecimal. It's basically a code that is contained of either numbers or letters that are six digits long. Basically the Red, Green and Blue values are each represented by two characters. To get the hexadecimal value of any color, simply go over here to the flyout menu and choose Web Safe RGB. Now you will notice that as you move these around, this particular case here, the hexadecimal number for this color would be 993333. Personally when I am creating web graphic inside of Illustrator, I try to use the hexadecimal values. That way I can easily copy and paste them into other applications, for example Flash or Dreamweaver.

Finally, another way to specify colors is simply come down here to this little Swatch icon and double-click on it. That brings up the Color Picker. Here you can easily move your slider up and down on the Color slider right here, choose a color here and see immediately values that are CMYK, RGB or the hexadecimal value all in one location.

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