94 votes
Accepted

Who first discovered CMYK?

According to Joe Scout the first company to use CMYK in printing was Eagle Printing Ink Company and the year was 1906. It was not until 1956 that it became a standard as a result of Pantone trying to ...
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  • 55.3k
54 votes
Accepted

How do I make this color combination more readable?

Change the client's mind. There is nothing that can fix the fact that red text on a blue background is an extremely poor choice for legibility because the contrast is too low, and because specifically ...
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  • 8,438
47 votes
Accepted

How does one generate a palette similar to the ones in Google's material design?

I made this little CSS3/AngularJS tool for a project to generate Material Colors palettes. You can enter your 500 hex color and use an external tool like ColorZilla to get the color values from there. ...
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  • 586
45 votes

Who first discovered CMYK?

CMYK is an improvement over CMY which itself is improvement over RYB model, which has been used for centuries (if not millennia). It's really hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, ...
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  • 551
34 votes

How can the "dress" optical illusion be accurately reproduced on other images?

Edward H Adelson created a Checker shadow illusion in 1995. From wikipedia: The checker shadow illusion is an optical illusion published by Edward H. Adelson, Professor of Vision Science at MIT in ...
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  • 198k
33 votes
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What is the purpose of using a very dark color for text instead of a pure black?

I always prefer a very dark grey to pure #000. The choice might look personal, but here's the theory behind it: There are very little 100% black things in nature. All black objects you see have some ...
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  • 26.1k
32 votes

How can the "dress" optical illusion be accurately reproduced on other images?

It's a rather simple optical illusion, really--the colours of the environment influence how you see the dress's colours. I could elaborate, but xkcd's Randall Munroe has explained it with just a ...
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  • 24.3k
32 votes

Who first discovered CMYK?

There is no single definable point when the CMYK Process Colour printing was discovered. High fidelity process colour reproduction printing has been a gradual series of technical refinements. The ...
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  • 5,021
30 votes
Accepted

Should I use company's logo color as a website color even if its bad?

Any single colour can be worked into a working colour setting, even for a website. So, yes, they are right in stating that using their blue is good for brand recognition. A good idea might be to take ...
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  • 24.3k
26 votes

What is the purpose of using a very dark color for text instead of a pure black?

These are all interesting answers, but a tad esoteric. The reason is rather simple. Contrast is good for readability, but too much can be considered unnecessary at best, and detrimental at worst. ...
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  • 49.8k
24 votes

Generating a series of colors between two colors

Take a look at this answer. How to make a given color a bit darker or lighter? Where you simply take the separated values of each RGB component and divide the values. But we have one problem, there ...
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  • 33.6k
23 votes

Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

There are a lot out there, but here are some of my favorite generators. Most listed allow you to enter in your own color like you specified. ColorKitty - Palette from image Cohesive Colors - New ...
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  • 12.9k
23 votes

How can I detect if a color is gray

With full credit to @Wolff for these images. As was discussed, grey is 100% relative to lighting, surrounding colors, perception, and the method you are measuring. Take these images for example. The ...
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  • 1,567
22 votes

How can the "dress" optical illusion be accurately reproduced on other images?

It's a matter of whether your brain thinks it's a dark dress under warm (yellow) lighting, or a light dress in a shadow. (I take no credit for the above image) For the record, here is the actual ...
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20 votes

How does one generate a palette similar to the ones in Google's material design?

The google palettes are monochromatic. Which keeps the same RGB ratio shifting the Lightness and saturation up or down. To do this you have to convert the RGB value to HSL representation (Hue, ...
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  • 1,000
19 votes
Accepted

Many successful web startups have blue branding: is this a reflection of something?

According to Google, blue is: Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, ...
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  • 710
19 votes

What is the purpose of using a very dark color for text instead of a pure black?

Normally I wouldn't post in a question that has been answered as succinctly as this one, but I do think there is a bit of information to add here. Coming from a graphic design background, there is ...
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  • 1,350
18 votes

Who first discovered CMYK?

In 1906, the Eagle Printing Ink Company incorporated the four-colour wet process inks for the first time. These four colours were cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (also known as key), hence the ...
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  • 189
17 votes

Are spot colors limited and why CMYK mix is not treated same as spot color mix?

Simply: CMYK is not mixed. A printing process generally do not mix colors. It is kind of the holy grail of printing processes but it does not really exist as of yet. What happens instead is that ...
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  • 55.3k
17 votes

Why can colors that don't follow color theory look harmonious?

T h i s d o e s n o t c o m p u t e . < h u m a n m o d e o n > Color theory is not about numbers, it is not about angles. Nobody will be around measuring the color angle of the ...
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  • 33.6k
16 votes
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Displaying Black on a Black Background

Here are a couple of things you could do... Stroke the black: Use an outer Glow, this may not work depending on the rest of the design: Stroke all of them, this is what I think I would do:
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  • 3,198
16 votes
Accepted

Better ways to visualise a box of uncertain colour when the possible colours are complementary?

I think you don't have many more options that make sense. It's logical to use the 2 colors in the box and the question mark makes the message clear too. But maybe you could play with the angle of ...
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  • 13.6k
16 votes
Accepted

What are the pros and cons of using Lab color?

Lab Primer The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. (Yeats) Lab, which I often read as Lab but is properly said L-a-b, is amazing. It makes the world a ...
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  • 22.9k
16 votes
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Generating a series of colors between two colors

This is called color interpolation. It is what gradients do under the hood. You can do so using a variety of means and methods, and exactly how the results are interpolated depends on the method. I ...
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  • 12.9k
16 votes

Are spot colors limited and why CMYK mix is not treated same as spot color mix?

TLDR: No, spot colours are not more limited than CMYK, and they aren't treated the same because they are different printing processes. Process printing (or CMYK printing, also sometimes called full-...
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  • 73.5k
15 votes

Many successful web startups have blue branding: is this a reflection of something?

It's a reflection that a lot of logos are blue is all. Blues and Reds tend to be the popular colors these days. And, really, they've been popular colors for logos for a long time. In addition, I'm ...
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  • 49.8k
14 votes

Given a color scheme, how do I apply it to a website design?

I see a lot of people commenting things like "there's no right answer" which I (sort of) disagree with... There's certainly at least one right answer, maybe a few and I'm sure there's a bunch of wrong ...
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  • 1,173
14 votes

Better ways to visualise a box of uncertain colour when the possible colours are complementary?

Consider adjusting the colors so that a black or a white question mark will be visible on both of them, but keeping them the same at the borders. For example: You can still see the original colors on ...
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