another man's ramblings on code and tech

Is Reddit's Upvote Button Orange or Red?

Last week a meme took over Reddit asking whether the upvote button was red or orange. Yes, it’s a dumb meme designed to suck up upvotes. It seemed like most people considered it orange, but I saw it as more of a red. So, I decided to evaluate the “redness” or “orangeness” of the colour from a programmer's perspective; looking at RGB and hex codes for orange, red, and the upvote colour, to determine which it’s closer to.

What are we using as red and orange?

It seems the official label for orange is hex #ffa500, or RGB (255, 165, 0). Of course, red is pretty easy to guess; it’s #ff0000 or RGB (255, 0, 0). Let’s take a look at these:

Hmm, look’s pretty red and orange to me.

What’s the Reddit colour?

Well, according to this site the colour is aptly named “Red-Orange” with a colour code of #ff4301or RGB (255, 67, 1).

Yeah, that looks pretty close to me.

How do we decide which is which?

Well, from this point, all we have to do is see which value #ff4301 is closer to: orange or red. Since there red value is the same for both of these (FF, or 255), we can ignore it. The blue value is also identical for both, so that can be ignored as well. All we really have to do is compare the green values and we should be fine. So, the Reddit colour has a green value of 67. If we subtract that from orange, we have a difference of 98; if we subtract it from red, we have a difference of only 67. According to colour difference theory to find the true distance of the colours from each other we need to square these numbers. In any case, however, the difference between colours is lower for red, so one would say that the Reddit colour is closer to hex red than it is hex orange.

Thanks to Reddit user scragar for pointing out the finer points of colour theory

So, it’s red!

According to most programmers, using this type of logic, yes! So go free with this newfound knowledge and spread the word among your peers. The Reddit logo, if we’re forced to use a term other than “red-orange”, is red.

Date: Mar 20 2019