Why do designers use alpha on their colors?

over 4 years ago from , Digital Design Nomad

I still keep wondering why designers out there still using alpha reduction on colors. For example Black 30% or White 50 % to create dividers or other elements. I understand that it makes the design process a bit faster you just turn down the alpha on a color and will get what you desire. I consider this as bad design. I always go with solid colors. I am not that dev guy but i could imagine that if a developer follow the alpha route it will cause performance issues over time? Also you have not the best control in your color system. I would like to hear your opinion about that or the one who uses alpha could explain himself... :-)

Don't get me wrong. I use alpha on colors if it works in the context.


  • Gaël PGaël P, over 4 years ago
    1. To match the tint of more than one background colour.
    2. To maintain the contrast with more than one background colour.
    3. Less colours to keep track of in the system (devs usually appreciate that).
    0 points
    • Jan Semler, over 4 years ago

      That i get, but the result is bad chroma unless the plattform supports alternative blend modes.

      1 point
      • Gaël PGaël P, over 4 years ago

        You’re right, it is a tradeoff. I try to be careful with the value of the Alpha to minimise that problem.

        0 points