Hex codes: A comprehensive guide to using colors

Colors are the heartbeat of design and the language of emotion. In this guide, we unravel the secrets of hex color codes—the alphanumeric magic that defines every shade. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, we’ll empower you to master hex codes, elevate your color schemes, and bring your visuals to life. Join us on this vibrant journey and unlock the full potential of hex codes in your projects.

What is a hex code?

Hex codes

Hex codes, short for hexadecimal color codes, are the DNA of colors in the digital world. They are alphanumeric representations that define a specific color within the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color model. While they might seem like a cryptic combination of numbers and letters, they serve a crucial purpose in design, web development, and digital art.

Each hex code consists of a hashtag (#) followed by six characters. The first two characters represent the intensity of red, the next two for green, and the final two for blue. This triplet of values allows for the creation of over 16 million unique colors. Hex codes provide a universal language for designers, ensuring that the exact shade you choose in one application will look the same in another. They’re the keys to unlocking a world of colors at your fingertips.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how hex color codes work, how to decipher them, and how they can be practically applied in various contexts.

How do hex color codes work?

How do hex color codes work

Hex colors, at the crossroads of artistry and technology, work their enchantment to produce a vibrant spectrum of hues on digital screens. Rooted in the RGB color model, a cornerstone of digital imagery, they bring forth a captivating world of color.

The RGB model’s elegant theory asserts that any human-perceivable color can be crafted by orchestrating the interplay of three primary colors: red, green, and blue. This universal language resonates across devices, from televisions to smartphones.

In the digital realm, precision is key. Colors are quantified on a scale of 0 to 255 for each primary color, allowing you or a programmer to finely blend and harmonize them to create your desired shade. With 16,777,216 potential combinations, hex color codes offer a boundless canvas for your creativity.

As you explore hex colors, you’ll find that each code possesses the power to convey emotions, messages, and breathe life into your designs. Have a look at these hex color images and get inspired.

How to read hex color codes?

Hex color codes are the secret language of colors in the digital world. They may seem mysterious with their alphanumeric combinations, but unraveling their code is your gateway to precise color mastery. Let’s embark on a journey into the fascinating world of hex color codes and decode their colorful secrets.

  1. Hexadecimal notation: Hex color codes use a base-16 numbering system, which means they include both numbers (0-9) and letters (A-F). Each character represents a nibble (four bits) of information. For example, #FF5733 is a hex code for a shade of orange.
  2. Six-character structure: Hex color codes consist of six characters, typically in pairs. The first pair represents the intensity of red (R), the second pair for green (G), and the final pair for blue (B). For instance, in #FF5733, FF signifies the highest intensity of red, 57 represents green, and 33 represents blue.
  3. Range of values: Each pair of characters in a hex code ranges from 00 (minimum intensity) to FF (maximum intensity). This allows for a vast spectrum of colors, with over 16 million possible variations including pastel colors.
  4. Universal consistency: Hex codes provide a universal language for defining colors. They ensure that the exact shade you choose in one application will look the same in another, maintaining consistency across different devices and platforms.
  5. Application in CSS and HTML: In web development, hex codes are commonly used in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) to specify colors for text, backgrounds, and design elements. For example, color: #FF5733; sets the text color to the specified shade of orange.

Mastering hex color codes transforms you into a digital color maestro. Whether you’re crafting the perfect website, designing eye-catching monochromatic graphics, or simply exploring the endless spectrum of colors, the ability to read hex color codes is your passport to a vibrant and consistent visual world.

“Now, let’s delve into some monochromatic color hex values for you to practice your hex code reading abilities and to inspire your creativity.”

Gold hex code (#FFD700)

Gold hex code (#FFD700)

Radiate opulence and elegance with this code, a symphony of intense red (FF), vibrant green (D7), and the absence of blue (00).

Pink hex code (#FFC0CB)

Pink hex code (#FFC0CB)

Infuse your designs with romance and charm. This code boasts pronounced red (FF), complemented by gentle green (C0) and a delicate touch of blue (CB).

Purple hex code (#800080)

Purple hex code (#800080)

Evoke regal sophistication with a harmonious blend of vibrant red (80), the absence of green (00), and a touch of blue.

Red hex code (#FF0000)

Red hex code (#FF0000)

Ignite passion and boldness with pure red (FF), without a hint of green (00) or blue (00).

Black hex code (#000000)

Black hex code (#000000)

Find simplicity and sophistication in the absence of color, with all three primary colors—red, green, and blue—at their minimum intensity.

As you explore hex colors and their diverse hex color palettes, you’ll uncover their remarkable ability to convey emotions, messages, and bring your designs to life. It’s a journey where artistry and technology converge, expanding the horizons of your creative endeavors.

How to get hex codes from images

How to get hex codes from images

Extracting hex color codes from images is a valuable skill for designers, allowing you to identify and replicate the exact colors used in visuals. Whether you’re seeking inspiration from an image or need to replicate its color scheme for your small business brand, here’s how to retrieve hex codes from images with hex code color picker tools:


Design software tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator provide a straightforward way to identify hex color codes from images:

  1. Eyedropper Tool: Open your image in Photoshop or Illustrator and select the Eyedropper tool. Click on any part of the image to sample a color. The hex code for that color will appear in the color panel.
  2. Color Picker: In both software applications, you can access the Color Picker dialog, which displays the hex code for the selected color.

Browser extensions

Several browser extensions are available that make it easy to extract hex color codes from images on websites:

  1. ColorZilla: Install the ColorZilla extension in your browser, and you can use its Eyedropper tool to select colors from images on web pages. The hex code is displayed for each color you sample.
  2. Palette Creator: Palette Creator is another browser extension that allows you to generate color palettes from images on web pages. It provides hex codes for all the colors in the palette.


There are mobile apps and desktop applications designed for extracting hex color codes from images:

  1. Adobe Capture: This mobile app by Adobe allows you to capture colors from the world around you using your phone’s camera. It provides hex codes for the colors you capture.
  2. Online image color picker tools: Several websites offer image color picker tools. You can upload an image, and these tools will identify and display the hex codes for the colors in the image.


Online tools and websites can help you extract hex color codes from images:

  1. Image color picker websites: Websites like ImageColorPicker.com allow you to upload an image and click on specific colors to retrieve their hex codes.
  2. Graphics software with image color picker: Some graphic design software, like CorelDRAW, includes image color pickers that can identify hex codes from images you import.

With these methods at your disposal, you can effortlessly extract hex color codes from images, whether you’re analyzing existing designs or using real-world inspiration to inform your creative projects.

What is the difference between hex color and RGB?

In the world of digital design and color representation, two primary methods stand out: hex color codes and RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color models. Understanding the differences between these two approaches is essential for mastering the art of color selection. Here’s a breakdown of how hex colors and RGB differ:

Hex color codes

  • Alphanumeric representation: Hex color codes are alphanumeric and consist of a hashtag (#) followed by six characters (e.g., #FF5733). These characters represent the intensity of red, green, and blue components.
  • Universal language: Hex codes provide a universal language for defining colors. They ensure that a specific shade appears consistently across different devices and platforms.
  • Precision: Hex codes allow for precise color selection with over 16 million possible variations, making them ideal for digital design and web development.

RGB color model

  • Numeric components: The RGB model relies on numeric values ranging from 0 to 255 for each of the primary colors (R, G, B) to define a color. For example, (255, 87, 51) represents a shade of orange.
  • Used in hardware: RGB values are commonly used in hardware devices like monitors and printers, where colors are created by mixing varying intensities of red, green, and blue light.
  • Wider color gamut: RGB can represent colors outside the typical gamut of screens, which can be useful for specialized applications.

While both hex color codes and RGB provide ways to specify colors, they serve different purposes and are often used in different contexts. Understanding when and how to use each method is a valuable skill for designers, developers, and anyone working with colors in the digital realm.

To sum up

In this guide to using hex codes for colors, we’ve embarked on a vibrant journey through the digital palette. Hex color codes are your keys to unlocking a world of creativity, where every hue tells a unique story.

From understanding the language of hex codes to exploring captivating color palettes, you’ve gained valuable insights. And don’t forget the vital skill of how to find the hex code of a color—it’s your secret weapon in the design realm.

As you journey into digital artistry, may hex codes be your trusted companions, simplifying the selection of vibrant hues and elevating your visual creations. Whether you’re painting with bold strokes or crafting delicate designs, hex codes are your canvas.