Monday, 5 May 2014

When Is Grey Not Grey?

Someone asked me what the HEX value for the '50% Grey' fill option was in Photoshop. Admittedly it was something I had never considered. But in firing Photoshop up doing a quick fill on '50% Grey' and using the eye dropper to get the color code the answer was #808080.

Simple enough.

But if you Google HEX value of '50% Grey' there is a whole list of possibilities. The most common were:
  • #777777
  • #959595
  • #808080
This confused me. Surely '50% Grey' could only be one thing. Everything is based on HEX values and RGB scales. So, if Black is RGB(255,255,255) and White is RGB(0,0,0) it stands to reason that '50% Grey is half of that - RGB(128,128,128) and yes it does work out as 127.5 but as with most things it is rounded up to a whole number. Then the HEX value of 128 is 80 so the final HEX value for '50% Grey' is #808080.

All well and good. But I wondered how some of the other so-called answers found by Google were arrived at; especially knowing #808080 is the correct value.
  • #777777 - RGB(119,119,119)
  • #959595 - RGB(149,149,149)
Obviously a darker and lighter grey than '50% Grey'.

A subtle difference between the three admittedly; but a difference nonetheless.

It all comes down to not accepting answers and checking that the answer yourself to ensure it is correct.

And if you thought a post about grey being grey was boring be thankful I didn't try to work out how black can ever be blacker than black - which is something NASA worked out (Full Article Here).

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