Last modified: 2000-12-22 by phil nelson
Keywords: fotw | color | palette | browser safe |
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Computer colours on monitors (in Windows on a PC) are made up of a mixture of Red, Green and Blue (RGB). On each of these three variables, there are 256 values, which means that we can make more than 16.7 million different colours. The Browser Safe Palette (BSP) is the 216 colours (that is 216 different combinations of Red, Green and Blue values) used by the World Wide Web browsers like Netscape and Explorer. For some reason, the manufacturers of these browsers have decided not to allow more colours used, even though, as we have seen, one can easily have millions of colours.
Difficulties appear when one tries to use a colour that is not in the BSP. The browser will then distort the colour and it will display the colours in the image as blurred, uneven, dotted or 'dirty'. Note that this effect will only appear in WWW browsers. The images display perfectly in other software such as paint programmes, viewers, etc.
The discussion led to a set of 32 Browser Safe colours. The RGB values of the FOTW standard colours are:
|Color||RGB Value||FIAV code|
|Very light red||255-102-102||R--|
|Light red||255- 51- 51||R-|
|*||Red||255- 0 - 0||R|
|*||Dark red||204- 0 - 0||R+|
|Very dark red||153- 0 - 0||R++|
|Very light blue||51-204-255||B--|
|*||Blue||0 - 0 -255||B|
|*||Dark blue||0 - 0 -204||B+|
|*||Very dark blue||0 - 0 -153||B++|
|Very light green||102-255-102||V--|
|Light green||0 -255- 51||V-|
|*||Green||0 -204- 0||V|
|*||Dark green||0 -153- 0||V+|
|Very dark green||0 -102- 0||V++|
|Very light yellow||255-255-204||Y--|
|*||Dark yellow||255-204- 0||Y+|
|Light orange||255-153- 0||O-|
|Very dark grey||51- 51- 51||G++|
|Light brown||153-102- 0||M-|
|*||Brown||102- 51- 0||M|
|Dark brown||51- 0 - 0||M+|
|*||Purple||102- 0 -153||P|
|*||Black||0 - 0 - 0||N|
Those colours marked with * are the 16 most used colours. Using a 16-colour palette will reduce file size, so it should be applied if possible.
FIAV codes are international codes for shrothand colour description in vexillology.
If it is not used in the flag image, Light gray (G-) should be used for transparent color.
If you intend to start making GIFs and want to send them to the FOTW mailing list, you should consider using Browser Safe colours. If the colour is not in the 32 colour FOTW colour guide, look for it in the complete BSP.
Of course the FOTW colour guide is not meant as a rigid and universal new colour standard. It is meant as a guide to colour management for those FOTW mailing list members who want to send images to the list. Naturally, the ultimate authority concerning colours of flags is still the legal specification laid down by those who adopt flags. However, such specifications are usually intended for textiles or printing, and do not give much meaning for computer colours on screen.
Most of available drawing programmes alowes you to define color palettes used in your image. Here are several palettes ready for you. See your drawing programmes reference how to use them.
|Manufacturer||Programme||Version||OS||16 colours palette||32 colours palette||Thanks to|
32 colours palette example:
16 colours palette example:
* NeoPaint have no possibility of making BSP GIFs. The palette is as close to BSP as possible, but should be converted to BSP before posting to FOTW.