Web-safe colors, still needed?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by floyde, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. floyde macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    I never quite grasped the idea of web-safe colors, but I always thought that they were only needed to support older machines with less than 16-bit color capabilities (I probably am very wrong :eek: ). So I was wondering, in this high-def age, are web-safe colors still needed? Are designers still adhering to them?
  2. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    nope, I don't use stick to em anymore. I did some reading a while back and the percentage of users stuck with those colors is like 2% or something. I can't remember the article right now, but either way, you can ditch the web safe colors.
  3. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    I've heard people banter about this on and on. If they can't view anything but web safe colors they have a really old system. They are the exception rather than the norm. However, if you really really really want a 100% instead of 98% of the users covered go ahead and use web safe colors.
  4. silence macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2005
    Yes i've always wanted to know what the best system to use is...!

    I mostly use Visibone/2 as advised by a friend - which is helpful because it is in Illustrator as well and fairly universal. But i'm finding that there is such a limitation on colour choices.. :mad:

    So, from what you guys are saying, its pretty safe to use any colour swatch system.. like Pantone etc. ??
  5. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    For most things, you don't need to bother with web safe colors. But if you are doing something that you want to make sure looks good, anywhere, (say, corporate website) then you might want to.

    Web Safe Colors aren't that needed this day and age... but a 800x600 resolution is far more prevalent than you might think.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Err, ehmmm... the Web runs on RGB colors. Not Pantone, not Toyo, not anything other than Red, Green and Blue little glowing pixels on a not quite black background.

    So when you say "I can use a Pantone swatch",
    you are really saying
    "I can use RGB values that approximate a Pantone swatch colour, but are actually guaranteed to come out slightly or radically different depending on the monitor, calibration and/or Gamma settings of whatever system the end user is using, which is completely beyond my control"
  7. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB

    yeah ditto, if your working for web/screen you still have to stick with RGB values. You can just step outside the web safe colour pallet of 1996
  8. Moria macrumors regular

    May 7, 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Some of the older computers at my school are locked on 800x600 that can only view websafe colours.....the Google logo doesn't work properly.

    If Google are doing it, you should do it too.
  9. floyde thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    It's good to know... 90% of all webcolors are hideous.
  10. geodome macrumors member


    Jun 22, 2006
    London, UK
    Are the websafe colours referring to the 256 colour mode?

    Those colours are not enough to provide a stunning display.
  11. Rare macrumors member


    Jun 23, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    You don't really NEED to stick to them, as many computers that stick to web safe colours simply change the colours they do not support to the nearest possible value.

    At my workplace the company located in the same building uses terminals that essentially remote desktop into a terminal server, and they run on 256 colours - looks hideous, but I find it useful for seeing what some people might view my websites as.
  12. theappleguy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2005
    Anyone with a monitor still on 256 colours can't expect to be catered for anymore (whether they acknowledge this is another matter).
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    There's probably around 2% who can not use java, 2% who can not use javascript, and another 2% who can only use websafe colors, and they're all the same 2%. Honestly, it's time for them to upgrade.

    Yes, I've been known to use 600x800 on my mac and PC at times, so I would never make a site that doesn't work in 600x800 screen res. As a website designer, the worst part is trying to cope with the 80% or so of users who can't use full CSS (ie, the ones still stuck on IE).
  14. frankblundt macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    I don't think that's quite true. There are still a number of corporates/businesses out there that insist on Java being disabled, and some still paranoid enough to have javascript switched off as well. Last I heard it was still around 10% of users affected.

    And if you care about accessibilty issues, even that 2(-10)% are important.

    Web-safe colours I wouldn't worry about tho - it's not like they won't display at all, just they'll be dithered and fugly.
  15. e-meow macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
  16. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    DO IT!

    And while you're at it, design only using HTML 3.0-compliant, no-CSS code, for a 640x480 screen, please. And be sure not to use too many pictures, my 28.8 kbps modem can't handle big pictures.


    (I just discovered an archive of my first website. I planned ahead - I used a 1600-pixel-wide, 20-pixel-tall vertically-repeating background picture. Man, 1600 pixels wide is wide enough for *ANY* monitor! Wait, what? They make 2560-pixel wide monitors now? :eek: :p )
  17. -pete- macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Nice blog spam there e-meow...

    These days I think people are more likely to view your website on an iPad with millions of colours than invest in a poor quality colour print out of your site.
  18. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Reasons not to use web safe colors:

    1) Deprecation

    Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 3.1 and IE6 due to the advancement in technology plus it's too expensive and time consuming to dedicate resources to manage and service such older platforms. Modern displays are now 24-bit true color. Father time in the digital world dictates what technology to use or not use.

    2) Limitations

    X11 colors (browser created) are not synched with HTML 4.01+ standard colors. 256 color displays still dither (i.e. the user who commented about the Google site not looking right). Web safe vs. "really safe" 216 colors is simply confusing and really only 22 colors render as expected on older displays anyway, the whole concept is absurd.

    3) Accessibility concerns

    For screen readers, web safe colors do not make things any easier as some of those kinds of browsers do not use colors. Sticking to web safe for accessibility concerns is a common misconception. Follow the same rules for contrast and foreground/background no matter which palette used.

    4) HSL and the CSS3 spec is coming

    The future looks promising, the constantly evolving CSS3 spec deprecates system colors (X11) and will likely use the HSL (Hue, saturation and lightness) color system which was actually developed in the 70's but and supports high quality resolution and capabilities of contemporary graphics chipsets and browser support. Commands via CSS3 such as this:

    color: hsl(0, 100%, 50%)
    Note: RGB is still in the spec and alpha channel values exist for both for those who know about transparency and other filter effects.
  19. vivian30 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2016
    I agree with everyone here, that today, especially today (in 2016), web safe colors are really not needed. As has been pointed out, computers today support millions of colors. Just wanted to add, in case anyone stumbles upon this page as I did, that there's a great explanation here: http://websafecolors.design/learn
  20. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    Realistically, any computer that still needs websafe colors in 2016 is not safe to still be connected to the Internet in 2016! Web safe colors means computers that can only display a TOTAL of 256 colors. Even Wikipedia puts it this way: "As of 2011, personal computers typically[12] have 24-bit (TrueColor) and the use of 'web-safe' colors has fallen into practical disuse."
  21. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Guys, seriously, this thread is ten years old.

    I don't believe the topic is still relevant.

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