Briefly explained, colours on a computer screen are displayed combining red, green and blue light sources, each within a range of 0 to 255, allowing for a possible 16 million colours. Most modern monitors are capable of displaying this full-range of possible colours (i.e. 32-bit). However, a web-based delivery cannot ensure the same level of colour accuracy that, for example, using Pantone control numbers might provide in the print medium. The best one can hope for on the web is a consistent user experience from one page to the next, as the same web page viewed in two different monitors, or on different operating systems, may look very different.

As part of Queen's Visual Identity Standards, Queen's Department of Marketing and Communications has developed an approved list of institutional colours (red, gold, and blue) for the web that should be referenced as an appropriate starting point in developing a design palette for any Queen's web development projects.

Finally since color is deemed a "presentational" value (as opposed to a semantic value), its use is governed by Cascading Style Sheets.

Colour Standards

Standard #1

Colour must not be the only means of conveying information.

Appropriate Use of Colour

Standard #2

Colours must be declared in the style sheet and done so in pairs to ensure that a foreground color always has an accompanying background color.

Colours and CSS

Standard #3

Foreground and background colour pairs must have sufficient contrast so as to be clearly distinct.

Colour Contrast