3.6.18

How Your Web Browser Affects How Colors are Rendered

BY THOMAS BOLTE

Maybe you’re browsing for tide pod challenge videos or scrounging for that pure fire Spotify playlist. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re searching through a hot-off-the-press, Carbon8 designed with <3 website

Unless you’re my Grandma, you use a multitude of digital screens for business and pleasure. But the resolution and color display of your monitor are probably something you don’t worry about. Sure, you might have a hard time reading some of those emails, so you crank up the contrast, maybe adjust the brightness and away you go...

Color Display and How Colors are Rendered

But when it comes to the important decisions, like that sweater you’ve had your eye on or deciding whether that dress was black and blue or white and gold a while back, color is important. And in all seriousness, how a user sees your company colors affects how they identify with your brand. It even affects their ability to use your site.

Color management is constantly an issue when it comes to design, particularly anything digital. Often when we review a design concept, the conversation is usually had with a lengthy prologue discussing that colors may be rendering differently on your screens compared to ours and we’ll ensure that we’re referencing the same color in the near future. And this can be really frustrating for clients. It’s pretty crucial that we talk about color accurately and clearly, because how we understand color affects how we identify and use colors in web design.

Exceptional web designers ensure that their designs compensate for this by testing colors on multiple monitors to ensure they don’t appear too bright or dull in any extreme case. We take precautionary steps through this entire process, but we still find ourselves at the mercy of browsers.

Each browser has its own bugs and quirks. The way Google Chrome renders a color compared to Firefox is different. And on top of that, users’ monitors can also be calibrated differently and may appear darker or lighter depending on their preference.

So what now?

Instead of blaming browsers, makers of monitors or demanding users to switch to better systems, designers should try and give users the best rendering we can across a multitude of browsers/monitors.

The design community is becoming more and more aware of the display issues. And as the digital medium continues to expand, makers of browsers and monitors should be willing to put extra effort into streamlining display systems as a whole. In fact, Mozilla has already initiated the idea of cross-browser documentation.

So we’re on the case! We’ve got our ear to the ground on how we can continue to maintain a visual consistency across all sorts of screens. Stay tuned… (cue cliffhanger music).

 

Thomas Bolte
written by THOMAS BOLTE
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