As any graphic designer worth his salt knows, colour plays a powerful role in any design. Getting the colour palette right is essential for maximising the artwork and bringing the piece to life. Sometimes it can be difficult to create the right colour palette so here are a few tips on making the process easy peasy.
Head over to Adobe’s very own online (and in-app) colour palette creator at https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/. This is relatively new but works like a dream. The interactive wheel points are really funky and produce colour palettes on the fly. You can just go crazy and see what palettes come up, or go a bit more focussed with the various options on offer, such as creating a palette from an image you upload. I find the Explore feature is quite good for those times when you just don’t know where to start.
This has a big community following in the graphic design and interior design fields. Head over to http://www.colourlovers.com to see what it’s all about. Not only can you browse and submit colour palettes, but you can also do the same for patterns, colours and shapes. There are tools to help you build colour palettes but I don’t rate them as much as Kuler. They almost seem a bit old fashioned in comparison.
A simple way to build a colour palette is to use an image as a starting point. For instance, if you have a logo or brand image just open it in Photoshop and from the filters select Pixelate > Crystallize. This breaks the image down into solid colours using the cell size slider. Have a play with the settings and you can come up with some really nice colour palettes for your design project.
Another way to use images to build colour palettes is the awesome and oh so simple Color Thief. Download the app from GITHUB and it will show you the dominant colour plus a selection of other colours used. It really is simple and a handy app to have in your design arsenal.
Color Scheme Designer
http://colorschemedesigner.com is another great colour wheel system that allows you to enter a HEX value and basically go from there. As with most of the other colour palette generators, you can pick colours via mono, complimentary, triad, tetrad, analogic and shades. Randomize obviously let’s you explore various colours that you may not have thought of, which can be a nice waste of time, if you know what I mean. It’s like going on Pinterest, then realising you’ve just lost an hour in the process!
These methods of creating colour palettes are all free and are a great resource for graphic designers when inspiration is not forthcoming. You can come up with some fantastic colour palettes using these methods so try them out today and enjoy some colour in your life.
Got another method? Drop it in a comment below…