Old skill; new use

I hope that you enjoyed reading the interview about Nilmini from yesterday’s blog post. I get so much from doing those interviews. We go back and forth in a Google document and then I move it to WordPress for formatting and publication. In the process, I got a little more than just finding out about this incredible educator.

One of the things that I ask interviewees to do is to choose a colour for their responses so that they stand out from my questions. In Nilmini’s case, it was what I would call Cyan. She called it “Turquoise” and I made the connection immediately. I’ve purchased jewellery in Turquoise many times before. It’s not quite Blue; it’s not quite Green; and as I was to learn, it’s not quite Cyan.

Photo by Joeyy Lee on Unsplash

I had to smile at my nerdy definition of the colour and her artistic one. No problem; we all work in WYSIWYG editors these days. I’ll just highlight her text and select Turquoise.

The problem is that WordPress is designed by programmers and use programming names. So, I had my choice between Light green cyan and Pale cyan blue. No turquoise. It certainly wasn’t one of the colours of the theme that I’m using. Fortunately, there is a colour picker …

I could have my pick of shades of green, blue, cyan, er, turquoise. Nobody would know but I’m now on a mission. She said turquoise.

I went back to the original document where we’d been working back and forth to see what Google called it. I wasn’t terribly surprised that it was actually a custom colour that she had chosen.

Sure, it’s close to Blue 11 but the actual colour is #1cb1cb. It clicked in. There must be a way to tell WordPress to use that specific colour. I started navigating my cursor around the colour picker and tried to zero in on #1cb1cb. Maybe it was the coffee but it was harder than it should be. I finally got it and coloured her first paragraph.

When I went to the next paragraph, the colour choice was gone. So, I started the hunting process again and then my nerdy background kicked in. There must be a way to specifically tell WordPress how to use it and, in fact, the bottom of the colour picker allowed for direct input of the colour, if you knew the Hex codes. And, I did. Realizing that black would be a whole lot easier to find, I highlighted the entire interview and turned it all to turquoise and then went in and easily edited my parts to boring old black.

By now, I’m feeling a bit foolish. This took way longer than it should. It was the final understanding that I’ve become a victim of point and shoot easiness. Years ago, if I was coding this from scratch, it would have been a piece of cake since we didn’t have these tools. If we wanted a particular colour, we’d just code the hexadecimal code into things. Now, we’ve become accustomed to the tools that we have in front of us to make it quick and easy. Just point at the colour you want, click, and away you go. And, if the one that you want isn’t there, pick something close. Remember that old saying about being close only applies to horseshoes?

I’m not naive enough to think that I could have been off in the colour by a little bit and nobody would notice. In fact, the calibration of your monitor may be a bit different from mine and you’re seeing something slightly different anyway.

It was a rabbit hole that I fell into and I recognize that. I’m starting to think of the bigger picture of our students who may move on to work in a business where product identity is incredibly important, including the colour. Are we teaching them the finer points of colour, editing, etc? We know that they get pretty good at slapping emojis on or applying a funny filter to their phone images but are they learning it all?

2 thoughts on “Old skill; new use

  1. Pingback: OTR Links 12/01/2021 | doug — off the record

  2. Pingback: My Week Ending 2021-12-05 | doug — off the record

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