Back when the web was new responsible designers were only supposed to use the websafe color palette. This consisted of 256 colors that 16 bit computers were capable of rendering with a reasonable degree of accuracy. This became known as the browser safe color palette. When print designers came on the scene they were used to working with PMS colors (Pantone Matching System) and found these 256 colors “artistically restrictive”. Fortunately advances in computer technology allowed computers to be able to display thousands and then millions of color variations.
Choosing a color palette when designing a website is something that often eludes me. Fortunately I found the book Color Index on Amazon for less than $20. While the web safe color section is a little small it has a lot of great suggestions and is small enough to tuck in briefcase to bring to a client meeting. However recently I discovered an online tool that works much better called color scheme generator. You can construct all sorts of variations , monochromatic, soft contrast, double contrast and more. Now once you’ve found a color palette you like you’ll need a way to get the color out. You could resort to pen and paper but color picker tools are so much fun. In fact there is really great on called colorpic.