Sweet 16 – What’s a Hex Color?

Sweet 16 – What’s a Hex Color?

Have you heard of Hex?

Hexadecimal refers to a Base-16 numbering system. We’ve all heard of Binary (ones and zeroes baby!), and we use the Base-10 (decimal) numbering system normally. One can express any number in any system.

With a Base-16 numbering system we run out of our familiar “numbers” and start using letters (A thru F).

Hex “numbers”: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A(10) B(11) C(12) D(13) E(14) F(15)


  • Decimal = 10
  • Binary = 1010 (8+0+2+0)
  • Hex = A

Why Use It?

With just two digits of hex we can express decimal values 0-255, so think of it as a kind of shorthand.

How does Hex compare to RGB?

RGB values are expressed in numbers ranging from 0 to 255 for each color (hey, didn’t I just see that somewhere…?)

For instance:

  • White = Red-255, Green-255, Blue-255
  • 255 in decimal can be expressed as FF in hex: Red-FF, Green-FF, Blue-FF
  • Short hand: #FFFFFF


Hex colors are RGB colors, just expressed with a different numbering system. NK’s standard practice is to spec color in both numbering systems – to ensure our clients have the right digital language at their fingertips. Read more here or contact us today!

  • Posted in: Thoughts
  • Thursday, June 06, 2019.

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