You know how Pantone is essentially everyone’s go-to library for color inspiration, online and off? Well, Hex colors are the web-only library of colors determined by its red, green and blue components, resulting in a six-digit number that represents each hue. You know what else has six digits? A digital, 24-hour clock. So some really clever people put those Hex colors to good use by having different colors tick by with every second.

The What Colour Is It? web clock shows the time in the 24-hour format, and as each second ticks by, the background of the clock changes to correspond with the changing Hex number.


If you break down a Hex (aka Hexadecimal) number, the first pair of digits represent the color’s red value; the second pair, the green value; and the third pair, the blue value. So if you keep watching this color clock tick away, you’ll notice a greater change from minute to minute and then from hour to hour as these values jump a digit.

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The only issue with this web Hex clock is that it can’t incorporate a lot of possible hues because Hex colors are determined not only by numbers, but also letters. For all of the possible web colors, digits 0-9 weren’t enough, so the scale of web colors also include letters A-F. Unlike the What Colour Is It? clock, The Colour Clock does take letters into consideration, ticking through a gradient of colors second by second — although the Hex number doesn’t necessarily correspond with the time.

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Who knows, maybe your next color inspiration might strike with the color of midnight or high noon? It just goes to show you, you never know what time color inspiration may strike. Our next question is, what time do you think Pantone’s color of the year Marsala is?

What time’s color do you like the best? Let us know in the comments!