When you think of the color white, one very specific shade probably stands out in your mind: one that is pure and crisp, with no other hues or colors sneaking their way in. In reality, there are just as many shades of white as there are other colors. Though some of these seem closer to yellow, brown, or even orange, they’re categorized as white, at least for graphics and web design.
This list will help get you started. These shades are just the tip of the iceberg, so more can be found online if you find yourself interested. The world is filled with different colors and it is really quite fascinating. Sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the tour through the various known shades of white.
This is your standard, run of the mill white. Known to be crisp and pure, this color is often thought of when winter is about to roll around. White flakes of snow, pure crystals of sugar, and bright white paint for mixing are all things represented by this hue. Another great example is your standard sheet of printer paper or white sketchbook page.
RGB 255, 255, 255
This slightly off-white hue has subtle hues of gray and blue, creating a ghoulish look. This hue is just like a ghost, subtle and almost transparent and can be seen in some costumes. This color is very similar to pure white but differs because of the gray, slightly sick tinge to it.
RGB 248, 248, 255
This color is less blue than ghost white, with silvery gray tones mingling in with the white. It is like a soft cloud of clean-burning smoke, maybe from a simple log fire or other clean-burning fuel source. This may be seen coming from a chimney if the wood burns clean and is of the right tree species.
RGB 245, 245, 245
Baby powder is a shade of white with soft tones of yellow, looking very similar to actual baby or talc powder. This color was released as a Crayola crayon as part of a scented crayon line, bringing it into popularity. Many people can easily imagine this color when they smell baby powder, or vice versa.
RGB 254, 254, 250
This stunning shade of white snow is almost as pure as the original color itself. First used as a reference to a color in the year 1000, this shade conjures up images of frosty winter mornings with a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground. Snowmen, snow angels, and snowball fights, followed by steaming mugs of hot cocoa, are all images this color brings to mind.
RGB 245, 254, 253
Ivory has been in use as a color name for more than half a millennia. Named after the substance that animal teeth and tusks are composed from, this just slightly yellowed white is a simple yet beautiful shade of white that can give a work of art stunning color contrast that turns heads. It is often considered a pure color, great for creating the mirage of natural light.
RGB 255, 255, 240
Floral white is almost a very pale yellow, though its lightness makes it classify as a white shade. This color is simple yet fanciful, perfect for wedding gowns. It also makes a common but always visually pleasing wall paint. The color is common and one of the most used off-whites in real world applications.
RGB 255, 250, 240
Seashell is a pale off-white color that resembles seashells found at the beach or ocean. This shade of white has a pinkish hue and naturally looks very feminine and elegant, making it a great evening gown color. It’s a great summertime color, making one think of parties and lazy evenings spent laying in the sand, listening to the crash of waves on the beach.
RGB 255, 245, 238
This color is a yellowish white, the color of cornsilks on a chill autumn day, waving their soft tendrils in the wind. This color has been officially in use for nearly a century and is almost creamy in appearance, creating a muted softness in tone.
RGB 255, 248, 220
Old lace is a shade of white with tones of yellow and orange gently mixed in. This is a classic color, well known in lace blankets, tablecloths, and doilies, as well as ladies lace clothing, such as gloves. It’s also used by many as an approximate skin tone for those of the Caucasian race, creating a standard for digitally created works of art.
RGB 253, 245, 230
This color is a white shade with a good amount of yellow thrown in the mix. It is said to represent the color of fresh cream from cattle, a rich, buttery color that looks appetizing. This color has been in use for centuries, both within painting and other forms of art, and, more recently, on the web and in digital art.
RGB 255, 253, 208
Though beige is technically a shade of white, it often appears to be more brown in hue and shade. It was originally a color that referred to the natural, undyed color of beige cloth, a cotton material that was commonly used in the past. This color is closer to a creamy white with yellow and brown pigments, instead of straight brown.
RGB 245, 245, 220
Parchment is a shade of white that is often thought of when discussing old school writing. Think old, textured parchment being written on with an old pot of ink and a feathered quill. Parchment paper is an almost tan off-white and the web color is as well.
RGB 241, 233, 210
Antique white is mostly a color created just for the world wide web. When the creators of this color thought this up, they were likely thinking of thrift stores, old china dishes and pottery, or even an old antique sewing machine. This color is less pure than regular white, having an aged, slightly yellow look to it with just a hint of gray that almost resembles dust.
RGB 250, 235, 215
Champagne is a unique, beautiful color with a natural elegance. Derived from the sparkling, bubbly drink, this color is a pale, almost straw colored yellow. It’s shimmery and almost translucent, just like a tall glass of the bubbly stuff. This color was commonly used in the early days of the internet.
RGB 247, 231, 206
This is a shade commonly seen while strolling through the chilly fridge aisles of the grocery store. Slightly tan in color, but still primarily a white, this shade closely resembles the color of eggshells on farm fresh eggs. A pale, almost ghost-like color that is familiar to both farmers and consumers.
RGB 240, 234, 214
This shade of white is very similar to that of eggshell. It is creamy and pale, a tannish yellow hue tinting the white. The color is more popular overseas but can often be spotted in public via siding on quaint homes. The hue has notable differences from that of plain white.
RGB 239, 223, 187
Bone is a shade of white that we are all familiar with. This color is a shade of white with both gray and yellow undertones. The color looks almost old in itself, the color of death and decay. It can be seen in skeletons, both human and animal, and tools and furniture crafted out of bone, like those from the far distant past.
RGB 227, 218, 201
Vanilla is a rich shade of off-white that has been in use as a reference to color since the 1920’s. This color is meant to represent many things, from the color of vanilla ice cream to the color of vanilla cake or other tasty treats. The color is creamy and almost yellow. You can see it in the wild in vanilla orchids, a beautiful white flower that’s great for landscaping.
RGB 243, 229, 171
Like vanilla, flax has also been in use as a color since the early 1900’s. This off-white color is almost golden in hue, shimmering in the sun as the light glints off it. The color is based off the flax plant, a pale golden crop that grows in fields and waves in the wind. The color is subtle but striking, the gold almost reminding one of a crown fit for royalty.
RGB 238, 220, 130
This color, used on the web since the 80’s, is a unique and stunning shade of white. Though classified as white, the color is very close to orange, just softer and more muted. Almost like the beginning of a sunrise, Navajo white is based on the background of the Navajo Nation ethnic flag. This flag showcases this shade of white in a beautiful and unique way.
RGB 255, 222, 173
This shade of white is a really unique color. It has a base of white with cooler tones of yellows, greens, and grays mingling together. The web color is based off the mineral alabaster, a soft rock that is often used in sculpting. It is also used to produce plaster, making the color familiar to most people. It was first used in reference to color in a Shakespeare play, The Rape of Lucrece.
RGB 237, 234, 224
Shades of White Color
As you now know, the color white isn’t quite as simple as you might have believed. There are many shades of each and every color on the wheel, even white. From the soft color of cream to the familiar almost brown of beige, you’ve probably seen many shades of white in the real world.
Now that you know some of the most common hues of white, you can begin using them in your art, or simply start looking for them in your daily life. The details you’ll notice if you only look are fascinating.