1530 RGB Colours – Swatches



1530 RGB Colours

Both are subtractive colour models. Subtractive colour models such as CMY or RYB are used for mixing paints, pigments, inks and dyes.
In the RGB colour model green and blue are the two primary colours that together make cyan!
No! The colours produced by mixing primary colours are not spectral colours. Spectral colours are produced by a single wavelength of light.
Yes! The primary colours red, green and blue are used to produce secondary colours when using the RGB and HSB colour models.

About the diagram

This diagram shows all 1530 fully saturated colours in the RGB colour model.

The diagram splits the total of 1530 into blocks of 256 colours with each block starting with a primary and finishing with a secondary colour or visa-versa. The six segments are:

  • Red (primary colour) to yellow (secondary colour)
  • Yellow (secondary) to green (primary)
  • Green (primary) to cyan (secondary)
  • Cyan (secondary) to blue (primary)
  • Blue (primary) to magenta (secondary)
  • Magenta (secondary) to red (primary)

Understanding the diagram

  • All the colours in this diagram have been produced by mixing pairs of primary colours. The third primary colour in any swatch is set to zero – off.
  • The diagram is made up of six blocks each made up of 16 rows and 16 columns.
  • The first block starts with red and ends with yellow. The second starts with yellow and ends with green.
  • So yellow appears twice, once at the end and then again at the beginning of the next block.
  • This arrangement repeats through the diagram so there are a total of 1536 swatches but a total of 1530 different colours.
  • To make sense of the overall relationship of colours, it helps to understand how RGB colour notation works:
  • When mixing any RGB colour, three numbers (separated by commas) show how much red, green and blue light is to be used.
  • The minimum value for each light source is 0. In this case the light is fully off.
  • The maximum value for each light source is 255. In this case the light source is fully on.
  • As each number increases so does the intensity of the corresponding light but the wavelength, and so the colour we see, stays the same.
RGB colour values
Light source Red Green Blue
Maximum value for each light source (fully on) 255 , 255 , 255
Values between 0 and 255 1 to 254 1 to 254 1 to 254
Minimum value for each light source (fully off) 0 , 0 , 0

RGB colour values

Now let’s look at RGB colour values in detail

RGB colour values are represented by decimal triplets (base 10) or hexadecimal triplets (base 16). These triplets are used in software and apps to select a colour.

  • In decimal notation, an RGB triplet is used to represent the values of red, then green, then blue.
  • Decimal numbers between 0 and 255 are selected for each value:
  • Red = 255, 00, 00
  • Yellow = 255, 255, 00
  • Green = 00, 255, 00
  • Cyan = 00, 255, 255
  • Blue = 00, 00, 255
  • Magenta = 255, 00, 255
  • In hexadecimal notation, an RGB triplet is used to represent the value of red, then green, then blue.
  • Hexadecimal numbers between 00 and FF are selected for each value.
  • The hash symbol (#) is used to indicate hex notation:
  • Red = #FF0000
  • Yellow = #FFFF00
  • Green = #00FF00
  • Cyan = 00FFFF
  • Blue = #0000FF
  • Magenta = #FF00FF
  • The sequence of hexadecimal values between 1 and 16 are: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E and F.
  • The sequence of hexadecimal values between 17 and 32 are: 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,1A,1B,1C,1D,1E and 1F.

Some key terms

Colour model

A colour model is a mathematical system used to describe colours using a set of numeric values. A colour model ...

Secondary colour

A secondary colour is a colour made by mixing two primary colours in a given colour space. The colour space may be produced by an additive colour model that ...


Things appear coloured to an observer because colour corresponds with a property of light that is visible to the human ...

Additive colour

An additive approach to colour refers to a method of mixing different wavelengths of light to produce other colours. An ...

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