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Nearest Color

Match custom colors to popular design palettes

10 colors that show why good color science matters

How humans perceive difference between colors is not the same as the mathematical distance between two colors. And we should always optimise for human perception!

If you search Nearest Color for #008000 in the Tailwind palette, you get the Tailwind class lime-700. But with a mathematical distance algorithm, you'll get green-800.

#008000

Human perception

lime-700

Mathematical distance

green-800

Most color-sighted humans would say that the lime-700 is closer to the original color than green-800. Read more about the science of this.

Here are 9 more examples of colors that show how tools like Nearest Color that use human perception of color difference help you find the right color.

#00FF00

Human perception

lime-400

Mathematical distance

green-500

#4682B4

Human perception

cyan-600

Mathematical distance

slate-500

#CD853F

Human perception

yellow-600

Mathematical distance

orange-400

#5F9EA0

Human perception

teal-600

Mathematical distance

slate-500

#BA55D3

Human perception

fuchsia-600

Mathematical distance

purple-500

#00FFFF

Human perception

cyan-300

Mathematical distance

cyan-400

#ee5333

Human perception

orange-600

Mathematical distance

red-500

#00BFFF

Human perception

sky-400

Mathematical distance

sky-500

#FF8C00

Human perception

orange-400

Mathematical distance

amber-500

Hopefully, you found this useful! Most color-sighted humans would see the colors on the left – the Tailwind classes found by Nearest Color – as closer to the input color than the colors on the right.

A bit about the science

The mathematical distance approach to finding the closest color is to find the Euclidean distance of colors in sRGB. Because sRGB doesn't match how we perceive colours, two colors with the same Euclidean distance can look very different to color-sighted humans. Read more about Euclidean distance.

DeltaE is the name for the family of formulas that have been developed to find the difference between colors according to human perception. Humans are more sensitive to some colors than to others. Read more about DeltaE and about how humans perceive color difference.