FHWA Color Specifications, Converted to Standard RGB (version 2)

In this version, I attempt to present a range of colors within tolerance of the federal specifications for each defined color. You will need to use some kind of color-picker tool to extract color values from the swatch images provided. As each swatch represents a range of colors, mixing colors from the same swatch should result in colors which are within tolerance for that defined color.

Daytime Colors, D65 Illuminant


Color swatch for White, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Red, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Orange, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Brown, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Yellow, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Green, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Blue, Daytime D65

Light Blue

Color swatch for Light Blue, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Purple, Daytime D65

Fluorescent Pink

Color swatch for Fluorescent Pink, Daytime D65

Fluorescent Red

Color swatch for Flourescent Red, Daytime D65

Fluorescent Orange

Color swatch for Fluorescent Orange, Daytime D65

Fluorescent Yellow

Color swatch for Fluorescent Yellow, Daytime D65

Fluorescent Yellow-Green

Color swatch for Fluorescent Yellow-Green, Daytime D65

Flourescent Green

Color swatch for Flourescent Green, Daytime D65


Color swatch for Black


Source: Federal Highway Administration 23 CFR Part 655 as defined in Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 147, and amended in Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 225. Except black, which not covered by the federal specs; however, even the darkest common materials reflect some light, so I've thrown in a selection of very dark colors. Reflectance values are as specified for Types IV, VII, and VIII sheeting where applicable. Brightness is calibrated so “pure white” on the screen represents 71% reflectance (fairly high); the background of this page is a neutral gray at 50% reflectance. Most of these colors cannot be represented at their full saturation in the sRGB color space. Irregular swatch edges indicate where the color may continue to vary within tolerance, but such color is too intense to represent in sRGB. Future versions of this document may include nighttime colors as well.

Credits and stuff

This document is copyright ©2008–15 Vid the Kid (me) and presents the results of calculations performed by myself and software I wrote. My understanding of color spaces and the math involved was improved largely by articles on Wikipedia and the website of Bruce Lindbloom. Thanks.