Color Palettes, Color Spaces, and Color Formats

Color Palettes, Color Spaces, and Color Formats

William.Thompsonj's picture

Note: Forgive me if this topic has already been discussed but I wasn't able to find a thread.


What is your preferred color space? sRGB, Adobe RGB, HSL, HSB, HSV, CMYK, something else?

What is your preferred color palette file type? PNG, HEX values, XML file, Gimp (GPL), Microsoft (and others) Color Palette (PAL), Adobe Color Table (ACT) / Swatch (ACO, ACE), something else?

Long Version:

I've been researching different color palettes, different representations of how we perceive color (spaces), and how we store/communicate colors electronically. Most pixel artists are familiar with things like:

- sRGB
- Adobe RGB
- Likely others

When I started doing researching into color theory I discovered a number of other standards and color definitions to include:

- XYZ (CIE 1931 color space)
- xyY (CIE xy chromaticity diagram)
- Hunter Lab (1948)

There are a significant number of standards bodies and groups related to colorimetry but I'm not going to attempt to list them here.

To the point: I'm good at software. Color is a weird nebulous thing that I enjoy learning. It's hard for me to know or fully understand graphic design demands or what the right standards are to support. I made a thing for swapping color palettes:

It supports palettes from PNG, Gimp GPL, and HEX value mapping. In looking at different programs I found these thingsCalled PAL files (binary color palettes). They are supported (preferred?) by pixel editing programs like GraphicsGale, Adobe PhotoShop, Gimp, and many other professional graphics editing tools. There are a number of color palette formats available:

- Indexed PNG (or scanning true color PNGs)
- Gimp GPL
- Microsoft (and other) PAL
- Adobe (ACO, ACE, ACT)
- XML formats

I want to know what are the most commonly used color spaces, what are the commonly desired color palette exchange formats, and what are the common complaints about each?