Spoonflower Bootcamp: What is a Hex Code?

AUG 24, 2015 updated Jul 13, 2021

Computer monitors display millions of different colors. Since a blue color may be called teal by some and turquoise by others, there has to be a way to describe colors without being so subjective. In today’s Bootcamp post, we’re exploring hex codes – a combination of six numbers or letters that identify a specific color.Anatomy of a Hex CodeHex codes are often used in design software like Adobe Photoshop, and our Color Changer tool uses them too. Spoonflower color maps have their corresponding hex codes listed within each color chip as an easy reference. Color maps can be printed onto any of fabrics and wallpaper, so you’ll know what a specific hex code will look like on that particular substrate.

Color Map ChipsHere at Spoonflower we print in sRGB and identify colors using hex codes. If your heart is set on a particular color, like a Pantone color, for example, we strongly recommend that you find the closest equivalent hex code and order swatches to confirm the closest match. Test swatches are the best way to confirm how colors will look on the fabric or wallpaper you plan to use.

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    II bought the sample swatch of hex codes. I want to find the various names a color might be called…. I have a client asking for fire engine red so I want to know the hex code comely called that for example? Iemailed help desk zero answers.

  • Is there an easy way to find a particular hex code on your color map? For example, let’s say I’m using the color BB32FE (a medium purple) on my computer. I want to know what it would look like printed on wallpaper, so I go look at the Spoonflower color map, on wallpaper, that I have hung up for reference. How do I find that code on the printed map? The colors don’t seem to be laid out alphabetically or numerically, and while you’ve put letters on the columns and numbers on the rows, they don’t seem to have anything to do with the colors they contain (e.g. swatches in the “BB” column don’t necessarily contain the letters BB, and swatches in row “13” don’t have codes including the number 13). So, as far as I know, all I can do is look at every single medium purple on the map that seems like it might be the right color, until I find the code I’m looking for (if it’s even on the map at all). That can take a long time. Is there a better way to look things up on your color map? Thanks.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks so much for your question! Since we do print digitally, we can print virtually any image or color, only excluding metallics and true fluorescents. The color map contains a sampling of possible options but we are unable to print every single color option on the map. If you are interested in sampling a set of specific colors for a project that are not on the map, we recommend creating a similar color guide to our red or navy swatch guides. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to send us a message at help@spoonflower.com

  • Hi Rosemary, Printing the color map on two different fabrics can result in colors appearing differently. Since each fabric is unique from our other offerings, the white point, weave or knit structure, and other variables can all result in colors varying between fabrics. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

  • If I printed the color map on 2 different fabrics would the color for a given hex code look essentially the same on both fabrics? I recently ordered the same design on linen-cotton canvas and on cotton sateen. The background color was decidedly different on the 2 different fabric bases. I’m wondering if this is a problem in the printing or the difference in using 2 different fabrics?

  • Having just purchase the colour map I think it would be helpful to include on the instructions that you need to enter the # with the code. I had no idea that I needed to do that. Pure chance I saw this. Many thanks for the information.