General Tutorial

Web safe colours

When I started web design many years ago, the idea of using web-safe colours was still considered the standard. Back then many computers supported max 256 different colors, so it was important for the designer to use colours from a list of 216 “Web Safe Colors” to ensure that the end user could see the colour as it was intended.

Nowadays with the leap in technology, it is pretty much a redundant process. People’s monitors can handle displaying millions of colours. Many hardcore designers still stick by the “web safe” rule and it is still taught in many of the manuals and online tutorials.

I don’t stick by the “web safe” palette as a rule, but I still love seeing them in all their glory. The best place I have found for the web colour wheel is at Visibone a colour resource for designers.


Isn’t it pretty? They sell these colour charts as posters, books and even mousemats.

When designing a site I always start with the logo colour and then add to the palette using complimentary colours. I then select 2-3 accent colours, usually these would be in complete contrast to the main colours. For example: dark blue against lime, orange against cyan. Pretty much the opposites on the colour wheel works. Be careful though, as there is a fine line between contrasting colours and just pure garish!

When working on branding and logos where the use of colour is paramount, I refer to my trusty Pantone swatch book. It’s hideously expensive, but I think it’s a crucial tool for working with printed media.


My daughter loves playing with the swatch book, so I am going to make one for her out of the colour charts from the DIY stores.


One reply on “Web safe colours”

Hello there!
Thankyou for your comment about my bunting kits. I know exactly what you mean about the 4 going on 14 bit, I have 2 boys, a 5 yearold going on 10 and an 8 going on 16!!!! Ahhhh, it seems all to early!

If you have sewing machine and would sit with your 4 year old, all you need to do is sew in a straight line folfing the bias binding as you go, thats the only tricky bit. Afriend did wonder wether wonderwebb would be easier but a child and an iron…? mmm think not!

I would definetly say it was a kit that would need parental guidence, but that would be quite nice really!
Anyway, many thanks for your feedback and good luck with the early teens! 😉


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