Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The End of an Era - Goodbye to the Web-Safe Color Palette

This is rocking my world

Tonight, I was working on a new client website design. I was pretty happy with it, and asked Dick for his opinion before I sent it out to my client.

I showed Dick my client's new business card which I was basing design elements from. The first thing that Dick noticed was that the color of my design was off. I explained that this is because I'm restricted by the 216 color web-safe color palette.

Like any good little web designer, I have been at the mercy of the 216 web safe color palette for nearly a decade.

When I have my first design meeting with new clients, I show them the color palette, and we choose colors from there. It works well: I know the colors well, keeps us from getting overwhelmed from too many colors to choose from... in short, I was very comfortable in my little web-safe-color-box that I've lived in since 1995.

When I mentioned all of this to Dick, he told me that he was fairly certain that this whole web-safe-color-palette thing was completely archaic now, and that I was silly to be limiting myself to these 216 colors.

This statement completely rocked my world!

Why?! Why! Why would I stop using my faithful color palette?

So we went to the only source that would provide the absolute truth: the web.

Here's what I found:

Though this might seem blasphemous to older readers of my books, or loyal website visitors, I believe it's safe to design without the palette. I believe this because so few computer users view the web in 256 colors anymore.

Keep in mind however, that many companies that hire designers and developers still feel it's a badge of Web design honor to work with these colors, so you might want to know how to use them if you have to.

That first paragraph just kills me. I love that she used the word blasphemous. That's how I felt when Dick suggested that I wouldn't need to limit myself to these colors anymore.

Today starts a new era in web design for me.

It's a day of unlimited color choice.

Here's one more quote from the article:

Today, any consumer with a Gateway or iMac is going to see all the colors you can throw their way. It's progress folks! Those of us who had to learn to design for the Web in the old days developed a skill that is fast becoming obsolete. So much for moving forward -- it's great liberation in my opinion!

hear, hear.

Now I have to listen to Dick tease me about this for the next few days...

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