Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

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36

No matter how nice the composition, flow, and lines of my design are, if I am not copying directly from nature, I have a very difficult time picking a decent color scheme. It either looks too drab, or too garish.

Is there a good resource that will help me to choose a color scheme that has 2 or 3 colors, and the colors do not clash?

I'm not looking for specific colors or color schemes. What I need is a resource that will help me choose a color (or colors) that go nicely with, or provide a good accent to, whatever main color I am working with on the design.

Stewbob

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 832

Please consider upvoting/following the StackExchange Color Theory site: https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/110687/color-theory

Adi Shavit 2017-06-22T08:08:53.007

2Have you tried Agave, available in the Debian/Ubuntu repositories? I use it for this all the time.ixtmixilix 2011-01-18T01:06:50.683

Answers

43

One useful tool is Paletton (previously known as Color Scheme Designer):

You specify a starting color and a type of color scheme and it will generate a palette for you and allow you to modify that palette.

The nice thing about this tool is that you can see how it chooses the other colors based on the color you select. There is also a tool to simulate how those colors would look with different kinds of color blindness.

Computerish

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 2 155

There are lots of others, many of which I like better than Paletton

Zach Saucier 2016-02-24T03:54:54.333

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You need to read about a good book of color theory to understand at least the general principle, for example on what is Primary and Secondary color, Complementary colors etc... otherwise you will not get the importance of some palette choices that you will make.

On the web my favourite at the moment one is: Kuler of Adobe , as well I used to use http://colorschemedesigner.com/ already mentioned.

I suggest to have a quick read about SIMULTANEOUS AND SUCCESSIVE CONTRAST where the association of color make feel that a color on a different background look different.

Even if you didn't ask me I suggest to have at hand for checking that colors of website have a good contrast for readability I use this: http://graybit.com/main.php

Littlemad

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 1 674

Adobe Kuler (https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel) is also my favorite for the moment mainly because the interface is nice to use. I don’t usually judge tools based on looks, but when it has all the features that the others do and integrates with Adobe products (my design software of choice), you may as well go with the pretty one.

– None – 2017-07-04T09:54:49.210

1

for more information on colour theory check this previous stackexchange question: http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/2/sources-for-color-theory-or-psychology-of-color

JamesHenare 2011-01-17T10:35:22.077

12

There are a lot out there, but here are some of my favorite generators. Most listed allow you to enter in your own color like you specified.

There are also some sites that give you pre-made palettes, including those of popular brands

There are also some sites that offer gradient combinations which you can get the color codes from:

If you still can't find a color palette somehow, this repo has some additional resources.

Zach Saucier

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 8 735

5

You can always go to your local Home Depot or Lowe's, head for the paint department, and pick up some of their sample room flyers. :)

Or more seriously, here's a description of how color schemes work.

Lauren Ipsum

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 18 313

5

Photoshop CS5 has an extension called Kuler that does this.

You can reach it through the menu; Window/Extensions/Kuler or through the website, http://kuler.adobe.com/

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Hanna Söderström

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 161

4

I've found colourlovers.com a very useful resource for constructing color schemes. But if you want to have a better idea of using contrast and harmony as a tool to improve your design you should read color theory. I personally liked Wucious Wung's Principles of Color Design and Josef Albers' Interaction of Color

Marcoslhc

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 371

Interaction of Color is a fantastic primer! I try to read through it every now and then to brush up on my color theory.plainclothes 2012-07-02T22:34:51.613

4

First and foremost: familiarise yourself with the HSB colour model. HSB defines a colour by:

  • Hue: kind of colour, as in: pick one from a rainbow—in degrees;
  • Saturation: inverse of the amount of added white—in percent;
  • Brightness: inverse of the amount of added black—in percent.

A good rule of thumb would be to sample the existing brand colours and determine their Hue value. At first, stick to those H values and start varying the S and B values. This creates colours that harmonise well with the existing colours almost by definition.

If you really, really need a contrasting colour and the only way is to use a different H value, try and determine first how the existing colours' H values are related. You can then build upon that relation to create new hues.

Are the two colours 180° apart? Then you might want to add 90° to either of them to create a third hue to work with. Are they 40° apart? Add 40° to one of the colour values or subtract 40° from the other to get an analogue colour setting. Or, take the average of the two H values and then invert the result (add or subtract 180°, whichever gives you a positive number less than 360) to create a split complementary colour setting.

Then start fiddling with the new hue's S and B values.

Don't forget to take a step back, and adjust the H value you calculated when the result isn't up to your expectations. Exactly calculated H values are great, but they're only a tool—don't hesitate to edit things a litte to make it look better aesthetically.

Vincent

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 17 730

3

Usually, I use the color picker to pick colors directly from pictures i'm working with. That way, I'm sure the colors are gonna match. It's easy and fast when you dont have much time to put on your project.

Annie

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 390

2

Part 3 of a three part series on colour theory applies directly to this question.

Creating Your Own Color Palettes

Great explanation on choosing your own colour scheme based on the colour wheel. (taken from this stackexchange question)

JamesHenare

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 1 938

1

One amazing tool for creating color palettes, that I believe to be a hidden gem is Adobe Capture CC. I discovered it while watching an Adobe Live stream event.

It is a free app, available for both ios and android that automatically generates the color palette of a photo you take with your camera.

If you go on a walk in the park, visit a museum or just stumble upon a chromatically impressive sight, you can get that color palette within minutes.

The app also gives you the ability to turn a paper sketch directly into a vector. You draw it on paper, you photograph it and voila. No more importing pictures and tracing with the pen tool.

I encourage everybody to check it out!

user37388

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 60

1

Check out this can help out you more.

http://galacticmilk.com/sphere/

Shayan Farhad

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 11

Suppose the given link is broken your answer is useless. Please add what the link shows in own words, too.Kurt 2015-11-21T16:58:35.153

0

Check out http://www.colourlovers.com/ for all things colour.

Conny

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 9

0

I'd suggest checking http://colorsupplyyy.com It is a good tool for color generating and uses color palettes from the best designers around the world!

Mason

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 1

Hello Mason, thanks for your input and welcome to GD.SE. I'm sorry to tell you that your answer attracted some flags for spam. We have been under a veritable flood of spam and the community is carcking down hard on anything that remotely looks like it. If you could explain a bit more why you like this tool and make very clear that you are not affiliated with it, your post would improve a lot. Thanks for the effort! If you have an y questions about the site, have a look at the [help]. Keep contributing and enjoy the site!Vincent 2017-01-17T09:18:05.853

0

Some resource that I have found useful listed below when picking colors.

  • AI with Colormind: Tool using AI and large sample of "good" designs/artwork/prints to generate color combinations. Also possible to supply your own colors and generating complementing colors. http://colormind.io/

  • Structured rules: Many other good answers on HSB and other approaches/theories. This page takes a stab at it with clear rules on how to do it and with ok results. https://tallys.github.io/color-theory/

Adam

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 46

0

I would definitely suggest ColorPK

It loads more fast and clean to me,

and It also could extract color from image enter image description here

user92624

Posted 2011-01-09T20:51:45.120

Reputation: 1