History of Web Color Names

Where do web color names come from? Alex Sexton breaks down how web colors got their names.

The named colors come from the X11 color (or more specficially, X10R3) back in 1983, in a file named rgb.txt. A list that started out with just 69 entires, now has a lot more.

In this talk, he states:

  • CSS colors come from X11
  • X11 names came from a box of crayons
  • Colors where originally calibrated based on Paul R. HP monitor
  • A lot of the names suck and are terribly inconsistent
  • And some of them are potentially racist (indian red, navajo white, peru)

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