Much like an oil painter with her palette of many unique color combinations, each operating system has its own palette. Many computers out there display only 256 colors at a time, and the Macintosh and Windows operating systems reserve about 40 colors out of the 256, leaving 216 available. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and NCSA Mosaic implemented a 216-color palette that won’t dither (i.e., vary the pattern of dots in an image) on different platforms and is “browser safe” (in other words, these 216 colors will always look the same, no matter what platform or browser is being used). Theoretically.
All posts tagged ‘design’
The cell is nature’s building block, and the pixel is the web designer’s. Pixel is one of those half-baked half-acronyms:PICture ELement. It refers to how monitors divide the display screen into thousands or millions of individual dots. A pixel is one of those dots. An 8-bit color monitor can display 256 pixels, while a 24-bit color monitor can display more than 16 million. If you design a web graphic on a 24-bit monitor, there’s an excellent chance that many of your 16 million pixels won’t be seen by visitors to your site. Since the agreed-upon lowest common denominator palette for the web has 216 colors, you should design your graphics using 8-bit color. (see Bit Depth)
In computer graphics, a color look-up table, or CLUT, is the set of available colors for a given application.
For example, a 24-bit system can display 16 million unique colors, but a given program would use only 256 of them at a time if the display is in 256-color mode. The CLUT in this case would consist of the 16 million colors, but the program’s palette would contain only the 256-color subset. To avoid dithering (i.e., varying the pattern of dots in an image) on 8-bit machines, you should only use colors from a predesignated CLUT.
CMYK stands for cyan magenta yellow and blacK and is a color system used in the offset printing of full-color documents.
Offset uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks and is often referred to as “four-color” printing. Monitors use red, green, and blue light instead, so they display images using a different color system called RGB. One of the great problems of the digital age has been matching colors between these two systems; i.e., taking a digital RGB image and making it look the same in print using CMYK. These problems are addressed by applications such as the Pantone Matching System.