Do We Really Need to Keep Using Web Safe Colors Today?
We can see from the reasons presented above, There is a case to justify the use of web safe colors. Sticking to the 216 web safe colors is traditionally seen a good web design practice.
So how does the situation today as well as the technology advances affect the need to use web safe colors? We start off by looking at the video cards. Today many computers come with a built-in hardware Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or hardware accelerated graphics card.
Even if to say most computers do not come with built-in hardware graphics accelerators, the built-in video cards still come with significant memory ranging upwards from 64 MB. With this sort of memory, you are capable of handling colors that range in the tens of millions.
Today we have better options for image formats with JPG and PNG being the most common formats as well as SVG graphics which is gaining more wide-spread use. These image formats support millions of colors and therefore do not subscribe to the same limitations that GIF images have.
Computer monitors today are also capable of displaying millions of colors at great resolutions. So is the case with a lot of the latest smartphones and other mobile devices in the market today.
Web browsers also have improved web content rendering engines that can process a larger color palette and larger chunks of memory more efficiently.
With all these factors in place where does that leave the web designer as far as their choice of colors go. Web designers today have the freedom to move past the web safe color restriction and can use a greater choice of colors to create great looking web pages with better looking graphics and effects such as shadows and smoother gradients.
So do web designers still need to worry about using web safe colors? Absolutely not. All they need to worry about is having an eye for the right choice and contrast of colors.