SHEX (Synesthetic HEX)

HEX codes for web colours have always been a little tricksy for me. Copy and paste has always been my greatest ally here. I wondered if there was a different way, an easier way. It turns out that there’s not, but Chris Coyier over at CSS Tricks turned me on to the fact that there is a way to make those pesky hex codes slightly easier to remember. He used BADA55 as an example in one of his talks which, unfortunately, I’ve not had the opportunity to use in a project yet. That got me thinking about what other words you could put together using hex. With a little help from some word making tools I’ve put together a page listing all the 6 letter words you can make using hex code. Some are a little tenuous, 1C1C1E is icicle, for example (unsurprisingly quite dark). Cool, right? Check it out here: Synesthetic HEX

Deeper into the rabbit hole…

I decided to delve into the world of recognisable words as colours a little deeper. As it turns out “Chuck Norris” is totally a colour. In fact any word you care to use can be a colour, however the catch here is you need to use HTML to do it. You can see this in action on the fairly simple SHEX Devolved page and, for reference, The Source. It turns out this is a throwback from the Netscape days and there’s a 5 step process that (mostly) works

  1. Change each non-hex character to a 0.
  2. Add 0’s to the string until its length is a multiple of 3.
  3. Divide string into 3 equal parts.
  4. While the length of the sub-strings is greater than 2, and all three of the sub-strings begin with a 0, remove the leading 0s from each string.
  5. If the length of the sub-strings is still greater than 2, then truncate each substring to 2 characters.

I say mostly works as there are exceptions – Radioactive doesn’t appear to follow this rule, nor indeed any word beginning with Ra and no one can really figure out why.