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What color is #808080?

What color is #808080?

The hex color code #808080 is a medium gray shade. Hex color codes are used to represent colors in web design, graphic design, and digital imaging. The hex code is made up of 3 sets of 2 digits ranging from 00 to FF, representing the RGB (red, green, blue) values that create the color. #808080 represents a color with equal parts red, green, and blue values. When red, green, and blue are combined in equal amounts, the result is a shade of gray.

Understanding Hex Codes

Hex codes all start with a hash symbol # and then have 6 characters ranging from 0-9 and A-F. These 6 characters represent the red, green and blue (RGB) values that make up the color. The red value is represented by the first 2 characters. The green value is represented by the middle 2 characters. And the blue value is represented by the last 2 characters.

Each value ranges from 00 to FF, with 00 being the lowest value and FF being the highest value. With red, green and blue all set to 80 in #808080, this hex code represents a color made by combining equal parts of red, green and blue – resulting in a medium gray.

The RGB Values Behind #808080

The reason #808080 appears as a medium gray color is because of its equal RGB values:

Red: 80
Green: 80
Blue: 80

The red, green and blue values are all set to 80 on a scale from 00 to FF (in hexadecimal numbering). This represents around 50% intensity for each color value.

When red, green and blue are combined in equal amounts, they create shades of gray. More specifically:

– #000000 is black (no color)
– #808080 is a medium gray (equal parts red, green, and blue)
– #FFFFFF is white (full intensities of red, green and blue)

So #808080 represents a midpoint, with its equal RGB values producing a medium level of color intensity for a middle gray.

Technical Details

In the RGB color model, each color is assigned a numerical value ranging from 0-255. This determines the intensity of that color:

Color Value Intensity
0 No color
127 50% intensity
255 Full intensity

Hexadecimal numbering shortens this range from 0-255 down to a base-16 numbering system from 0-FF. 80 hex equals 128 base-10. This means that #808080 represents a 128/255 intensity level for red, green, and blue. 128/255 simplified equals 50% intensity for each color.

When converted to other color modes, #808080 has these values:

– RGB: 128, 128, 128
– HSL: 0, 0%, 50%
– CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 50

As you can see, the red, green, and blue values are equal, while the hue, saturation, lightness, and cyan/magenta/yellow/black values all represent a medium grayscale value.

Viewing #808080

The best way to get a sense of what #808080 looks like is to view it. Here is #808080 represented as a solid color block:

As you can see, it displays as a medium gray, half way between black and white. It has an equal balance and medium intensity level of red, blue and green light.

You can also preview #808080 within design applications, such as:

– Graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
– Website builders and code editors that recognize hex codes
– Painting apps with color pickers and palettes

Whenever you input #808080, the medium gray color will display. This allows you to test how it looks and make sure it’s the right shade of gray for your project.

Use Cases

Some common uses and applications for the #808080 hex color include:

– Website backgrounds – It creates a subtle, neutral background.
– Borders and lines – It can divide sections or elements with a soft gray line.
– Typography – #808080 can be used for text and headings. It provides enough contrast against white backgrounds without being harsh.
– Shadows – The medium gray tone works well for subtle shadow effects behind interface elements or text.
– Icons – #808080 makes a great color for outline icons and monochromatic icon sets.
– Neutral accents – For highlighting or accenting areas without using a bold color.

The color works well in any minimal, modern or monochromatic designs where a medium gray will provide some contrast without drawing too much attention. Some specific examples include:

– User Interfaces – As subtle borders and backgrounds
– Landing Pages – As a body text color
– Typography – For text elements that need to subtly stand out
– Ecommerce Sites – As an accent or text color alongside black and white
– Photography – As an overlay color for a faded, tinted look

In general, #808080 works any place you need a soft, neutral gray shade.

Color Harmonies

#808080 can work in color schemes that leverage shades of gray for neutrality, including:

Monochromatic – Monochromatic palettes use variations in lightness and saturation of a single base hue. #808080 makes a good median shade of gray to build a palette around. Lighter tints and darker shades create contrast.

Analogous – Analogous schemes use 3 colors next to each other on the color wheel. #808080 works with lighter tans and browns, or darker charcoal grays analogous colors.

Complementary – Complementary pairs contrast a color with its opposite on the wheel. Medium blue (#8080FF) complements #808080 for a vibrant pairing.

Triadic – Triadic palettes use 3 colors evenly spaced around the color wheel. #808080 contrasts nicely with manifestations of its RGB opposites, like tomato red and azure blue.

Neutral – Neutral schemes are made only of black, white, gray, and beige. #808080 is the perfect midpoint neutral gray to build a palette around.

The balance and medium tone of #808080 allows it to work flexibly with brighter, darker, lighter and more colorful shades. It’s easy to pair with almost any other hue.

Related Colors

Some other gray hex codes near #808080 include:

#767676 #7E7E7E
#868686 #BEBEBE

Lighter tints like #C0C0C0, #D3D3D3, #E6E6E6

Darker shades like #525252, #3D3D3D, #292929

While #808080 sits in the middle as a medium gray, these similar hex codes provide more nuance across the lightness spectrum.

#808080 can also be compared to other gray color names:

– RGB 128,128,128 – Medium gray
– Pantone Cool Gray 6 C
– Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23
– CMYK 0,0,0,50 – Neutral Gray

However, the #808080 hex code provides an exact, universal way to represent this color digitally.


When using #808080 for text, UI elements, or other prominent areas, it’s important to ensure sufficient contrast against backgrounds.

Here are some grade AAA minimum contrast ratios for #808080 against common background colors:

Background Contrast Ratio
White 4.5:1
Light Gray 3.0:1
Dark Gray 3.5:1
Black 7:1

Contrast ratios help make interfaces and content accessible to those with visual impairments. Darker backgrounds need higher contrast, while white backgrounds can handle lower contrast.


The hex color code #808080 translates to a medium gray shade with equal parts red, green and blue. It provides a neutral, muted tone that works flexibly across design applications. #808080 offers moderate contrast against darker and lighter backgrounds, making it legible in interfaces and content. Overall, it is an essential neutral gray color to have in your palette.