Whether you’re designing a book cover or creating an illustration for a blog post, you’re likely to run into the challenges of creating a very specific color.
For example, if you want to draw gold and silver, these colors aren’t easy to find on many software programs, such as Microsoft Word.
With the convenience of the computer, however, there are numerical methods of creating specific colors.
Two popular color schemes are RGB (red, green, blue) and web colors. If you’re working with Microsoft Word, you can create a specific color by entering the RGB values (click More Colors at the bottom of any of Word’s color palette’s to find this option). When designing on a website, web colors are more common (a 6-digit letter/number combination following the # symbol).
It’s easy to find the RGB and web values for many colors, even gold and silver. Here are a few examples:
- Gold: R 212, G 175, B 55, web #D4AF37.
- Silver: R 192, G 192, B 192, web #C0C0C0.
- Brass: R 181, G 166, B 66, web #B5A642.
- Chrome: R 227, G 222, B 219, web #E3DEDB.
- Sapphire: R 15, G 82, B 186, web #0F52BA.
- Ruby: R 212, G 175, B 55, #D10056.
- Emerald: R 80, G 200, B 120, web #50C878.
- Rose: R 255, G 0, B 127, web #FF007F.
You can find several tables of standard (and non-standard) web colors online. For example:
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors.
- Rapid Tables: https://www.rapidtables.com/web/color/RGB_Color.htm.
In some cases, it’s better to stick to standard colors when viable.
For example, if you’re creating an illustration that will be viewed on a device that can only produce 16 different colors, you’re better off using just those 16 standard colors (as any other color is apt to change).
Note that in Word 2007 and up, many of the colors on the palette are not standard, including a few rather common colors, like blue.
When printing in color, note that colors often appear much brighter on a color monitor and much darker in print. It’s wise to make several test prints to a deskjet printer (if you don’t have access to the same printer that will be used for the final image, as is the case with print-on-demand publishing, a deskjet can still offer some indication) to test the colors as you design your image. It’s very common for the designer to be shocked and frustrated after the art is complete, to see how much darker it appears in print. (If you’re making a book, you want to use regular paper and standard settings; using glossy photostock isn’t representative.)
Non-standard colors may be harder to reproduce than standard colors.
Copyright (c) 2014
Chris McMullen, Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of workbook and self-publishing guides