Color resources

Choosing a color palette for a design can be both fun and sometimes challenging. Often you’ll have a client that already has an established palette and you’ll just need to find some colors that complement their existing colors. Other times you’ll be working on projects that have the freedom and flexibility to develop a palette from scratch. In either case I’ve found that it is helpful to be able to quickly review concepts and iterations of concepts and organize them in a way that you can then present to your client.

Here are some great resources (in no particular order) that I use when I need expand or develop a color palette:

  1. http://www.colr.org/
    colr.org allows you to quickly harvest the colors from a photograph and organize them into a palette. You could also do this in Photoshop but I think they’ve created a pretty intuitive and elegant solution.
  2. Pantone Essentials
    Every designer needs a set of Pantone swatch books and the Pantone Essentials is invaluable and very versatile. If you can afford it make certain to also get their Solid Chip books which are great when you need to take some swatches with you.
  3. http://www.colourlovers.com/
    This is another site similar to colr.org but much more indepth and community focused. They track color trends and provide some more great tools for developing your palettes. They also have a very interesting and sometimes thought provoking blog, all about color.
  4. color synthAxis
    This site provides an interesting approach to color palette design with some very interesting Flash tools. It’s a bit of eye candy but fun to play around with.
  5. kuler from Adobe Labs
    kuler really is kul. Not only does it allow you to quickly and easily develop color palettes but it also will automatically save them as color profiles that can be imported directly into any of Adobes design applications. Very Kul!


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