"white" font

I know that colors are comprised of many other colors that can't be directly seen. But white? I thought white was just white. How come a combination of blue, yellow and red are not only are invisible to my eyes, but they make a more "White" white?

I tried coloring the pixels that comprise the white text with white and it looks ugly. Why is this the case?

  • This question seems to be more about physics and or biology. Off topic?
    – Yorik
    Dec 11, 2015 at 21:55
  • @Yorik To me this is one of the more on topic questions I've seen in a while Dec 11, 2015 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


That is called a subpixel.

A) A pixel you see on your screen is in reality a group of 3 pixels of the primary colors R+G+B

B) We can have any shape of one color above other. Black shape over a white background.

C) We have the concept of aliasing, which is making pixels not entirely of one color, but smoothing into the surrounding color, this makes the image less jaggy.

D) The normal aliasing affects all three R+G+B colors at the same time.

E) Well, subpixel aliasing is the idea that we will make this gradients not only on the entire pixel, but simulating that we are smoothing across the pixel itself.

The what happens? That we have not the 3 R+G+B values equal, but we start reducing for example the Blue, then the Green and then the Red, which turns out as a rainbow of colors on the edges.

This is mainly done in typography in small size becouse each variation on the shape and weight of the lines counts. On bigger sizes it is not important.


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