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Understanding web color

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Understanding web color

When working with color on the web you have to understand that it is represented in a completely different way that you're probably not used to. If you are a traditional designer, chances are you're used to dealing with color in terms of standard RGB and CMYK values, wherein you have a numerical value assigned to a various color channel indicating how much of that color is represented in the overall appearance. On the web we have another system of color known as hexadecimal or hex codes. Hex color codes consist of six values, each of which refers to an amount of color that is present in the overall appearance.

Understanding web color

When working with color on the web you have to understand that it is represented in a completely different way that you're probably not used to. If you are a traditional designer, chances are you're used to dealing with color in terms of standard RGB and CMYK values, wherein you have a numerical value assigned to a various color channel indicating how much of that color is represented in the overall appearance. On the web we have another system of color known as hexadecimal or hex codes. Hex color codes consist of six values, each of which refers to an amount of color that is present in the overall appearance.

In the example that I'm showing you here onscreen I'm showing you the hex code for black, which is 000000. The number sign at the beginning of a hex code indicates your web browser that there is color being defined. You don't have to worry about that in Photoshop necessarily, but you will have to remember that if you are typing out HTML or CSS. Each color in the RGB spectrum is represented here. We have red, green, and blue. Directly underneath that, the hexadecimal code indicates there is no red, no green, and no blue, thus known of those values are present, and so there is no color, meaning all black.

Zero is the lowest number that you can have in a hexadecimal code, and the letter F is the highest value that you can have. The full spectrum ranges anywhere from 0 to 9 and the letter A through the letter F. Don't worry, memorizing color codes like this is next to impossible. You can learn some of the basic ones which will help you get faster in your workflow and that's want I am going to walk you through now. So let's go ahead and jump in another color picker. I'll come down here and click on the foreground color to open up my color picker and I'll move it into the center so that we can see the colors that we create.

Now we have our traditional HSB and RGB and even CMYK values in here. I'm not going to worry about any of those. Towards the bottom-left we have this number sign, and then of course our hexadecimal code, six digits. I'm going to remove that simply by selecting it and backspacing over it, and now let's type in some of the values. I want to do a red color. Well, I need to make sure that the red values are at their highest point. So I'll type in "FF," and then I'll type in "00" because I don't want any green, and then I'll type in "00" because there is no blue.

And so therefore I have full red color, because I have a full value of red at the front, no green, and no blue. If I wanted to do all green, I would simply change the first two Fs to 0s, and then the middle 0s I would change to Fs, like so. If I change those to 0 and then change the last two to F, I get full blue. I can also do things in the middle, like a neutral gray for instance. If I type in all 3s, I get a dark gray. If I type in a higher number, like let's say all 6s, I get a lighter gray.

And if I go all the way up to 9, I get an even lighter gray. Same holds true for black and white. All 0s gets me black. All Fs gets me white. So as I said before, you're not going to be able to memorize all of the colors that you're going to need throughout your workflow, but you can memorize some of these basic ones like I've shown you here to make it a little bit easier on yourself. The great part about Photoshop is you don't have to remember these codes at all if you don't want to. You can simply find a color, like let's say, I wanted to do some sort of orange color, and I can move right over it like that, and then right here at the bottom Photoshop gives me the hex code.

So I could then take that hex code, copy and paste it into my CSS or HTML document or send that off to a web developer to say, yes, I want this color orange for whatever it is they might be going coding for me. Once you're finished inside of this box, simply hit OK. That color that you've then mixed become your foreground color and you can begin using that. As I said, you won't be able to memorize all of these codes, but at least now you know how to read them and how to find them if and when you do need them, whether that'd be in Photoshop or while writing your own HTML and CSS.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 50189 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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