What is 0to255?

0to255 an online tool that helps people quickly find lighter and darker colors based on any initial color, kind of like Pandora but for colors instead of songs. It’s been used by over two million people since its launch in Spring 2010.

I built 0to255 to make my job easier. I'm a web designer who works with colors every day. Usually, I'll start with a base color then adjust it to work in various parts of the design. For example, I might brighten a link in its hover state or darken a button's border to make it contrast with surrounding elements. Web designers do these sorts of tasks several times per day.

Before 0to255, in order to adjust a color I would try to guess the hex code (which takes practice and inevitably involves trial and error), or I’d open Photoshop and create a new document just to access the color tool. Even then, finding lighter and darker colors in Photoshop is somewhat unintuitive due to its color picker using HSV/HSB rather than HSL, as the value (V) scale in HSV doesn’t go from black to white whereas the lightness (L) scale in HSL does. What this means is you would need to adjust both the S and V scales in HSV in order to get monochromatic colors. HSL gives us a nice monochromatic scale from which we can choose pretty much any color and be nearly guaranteed that it will work in a design that uses the base color. It’s a helpful guide and one that many web designers rely on. For this reason, 0to255 uses the lightness (L) scale from HSL.

Because I do most of my work on the web, I wanted a standalone color tool that I could quickly access where I’m doing my work: on the web. I’ve made it available to you free of charge, though I do encourage you to consider donating to cover hosting costs if you find it useful.

0to255 cures your color picking woes. Simply enter a color that you want to start with and 0to255 will give you a range of colors from black to your color to white using an interval optimized for web design. Then you can click the color you want to use and the hex code will be automatically copied to your clipboard.

It’s fun, simple, and a huge time-saver.

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