February Nuggets - the secret life of hex codes

3 min read

For this month’s nuggets, I’m taking a look at some current color insights.


Hex messages

Creative Boom’s Dom Carter posted this article about a fun digital zine, and I’ll never see hex codes the same.

The zine in question #dec0de by Stephen Grace takes a lighthearted look at potential words hidden in hex codes.

It reminds me of spelling out words with numbers on upside-down calculators and playing the game of trying to work out if a funny license plate is by chance or on purpose. 

Who knew that coffee (#c0ffee) is actually a pale shade of blue, castle (#ca571e) is a rusty orange, or that tattoo (#7a77oo) comes up as army green?

Next time I’m picking a color palette, I’ll try not to write any accidental messages.

Hex-citing details

(sorry). In case you're interested in hex codes (of course you are), here is a rundown on what they are, exactly:

A hex color code is a six-digit code used to represent a specific color in digital designs. The code is made up of a combination of numbers and letters, in three pairs, with each pair of digits representing the intensity of red, green, and blue light that make up the color. 

The first two numbers or letters represent red, the next two represent green, and the last two, blue. Like this: #RRGGBB

The values range from 0 - 9 and A - F, with 00 being the minimum intensity and FF being the maximum (FF would be 255 in the RGB scale).

So #FF0000 represents pure red, and #0000FF represents pure blue. The hexadecimal color code system is an additive color system, so #FFFFFF represents white since it is created in the presence of all colors, and black (#000000) is created in the absence of all colors.

This is a little confusing at first because it is the opposite of how print colors work because they are subtractive. The absence of all  (ink) creates white, assuming the paper is white.


Pantone’s Viva Magenta

Every year Pantone releases a colour of the year, and 2023’s colour is a vibrant shade of magenta.

More at Pantone: Pantone Color of the Year 2023 / Introduction

And a Webflow article with some color palettes incorporating Viva Magenta: Design with Viva Magenta

Color of the moment

Last nugget on color for now, is just to highlight our color of the moment feature. Every so often we switch up the highlight color on our site, give the color a relevant name, and shout it out on our homepage. This is controlled by the color of the moment (SASSy) system, and it automatically changes all influenced elements at the click of a button.  

The next color of the moment may or may not have a secret message in it.