Sixteen web-safe shades of grey

“I think I’ve kissed a prince, Mom. I hope he doesn’t turn into a frog.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

Ever had that feeling where you create an awesome image on your computer and send it out into the interwebz with all your blessings, but it turns out to be total crap when viewed on another computer? Welcome to the 90s. Where princes turn into frogs. Where computers are not capable of displaying all colors and end up showing awful/trippy shades that blind the eye and scar the mind. It was in that time of despair that the powers that be (i.e. Netscape) came up with a bunch of colors all devices and all browsers would be able to display: the web-safe colors. 216 there were decreed, and the world saw that it was good. For a while.

“I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

If I had been informed that a color had risen in a lascivious female narrator’s cheeks, I would have hazarded a guess at red. But since our narrator is so eager to tell us that she knows what color Communism is associated with, we must regretfully inform her that The Communist Manifesto was first published in 1848 and looked like this:

Colors of the spectrum, unite!

For those of us who can distinguish between color and greyscale, let it be known that among the 216 web-safe colors were four shades of grey (other than black and white): #333333, #666666, #999999 and (gasp!) #cccccc.

“He’s not a dark knight, but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor.”

Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh, and here I was thinking she would have got along well with the Dark Knight because –

The Dark Knight would have risen for her.

In closing, here are the sixteen shades of grey commonly used today (not all of them among the original web-safe ones):

Put on your 3D glasses now!
Put on your 3D glasses now!

So, there you have it. Sixteen shades of grey.


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