Color comparison web site


Not sure where to put this, so I’m putting it here.

I am a pen enthusiast and would like to create a site with ink samples. Where it gets complicated for me is creating a system for comparing ink colors. I have the means to create the samples and get accurate RGB readings. Those will be converted to HSB so I can compare the colors, and that will be in the basic structure of the site.

My problem is I don’t know what I need to know to create a database (?) and web system to compare the colors. (HSB lets me provide comparisons for colors that are close, are lighter or darker.) For user entry of colors not on the site I think a color picker would be best.

Any advice would be appreciated.

If I’ve been insufficiently clear let me know and I will clarify.


Creating a database is simple enough (once you know how).

But firstly what exactly do you want the database to do? Store colours? Store pairings of similar colours? What?

Do you have any experience with (and/or access to) any of the common web programming languages such as PHP? You will need something like this to communicate with the database and likely process and display the data.
The most common systems use PHP (for the processing) and MySQL (for the database), though there are others, this is just most common because it’s freely available and provided by most hosts.

I’m using HSB because it defines colors on a RGB color wheel much like the red/yellow/blue color wheel most of us learned as children. So, I need to be able to bring up similar colors based on the position on the color wheel, and so on for the saturation and brightness (value).

I presumed that an SQL database of some sort would be needed, and PHP comes with that AFAIK. A question though: does Javascript come in at some point?


TBH there really wouldnt be a lot for PHP to do except execute the query - a 3-dimensional Cartesian distance from a given point (the user’s input HSB value) to the database values can be easily calculated by the database engine and used to return the top X matches. Might put a scaling factor in (for example, I would value closeness in Hue more than closeness in Saturation or Brightness).



Thanks, using the cartesian location of the color is exactly where I planned to start. I’ve not had a chance to plot more than a few colors to get a sense of how it should work. From what I can tell brightness seems to have more of an effect on the info I’m trying to give than saturation.

The “fun” part (there’s always one) is that brown is a subset of orange.

Thank for all the replies.

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