I LOVE color. My favorite part of starting any new art project is going through the box of paint, or colored pencils, or whatever I’m using, and deciding on the color palette. I can play around with different color combinations for hours. It’s amazing to me how one or two small changes in color can completely change the entire mood of a project. Sometimes though, I find myself gravitating to the same five or six colors over and over, and realize that I need a bit of inspiration.
Here are five of my favorite color-related sites.
I subscribe to this blog via Google reader, and I can’t even tell you how many palettes I’ve bookmarked for inspiration. Each post takes an interesting stock photo, and pulls a combination of five colors. There are new posts multiple times each day, so there’s always something fresh to look at. You can search the palettes by theme, such as Autumn, Vintage, the Sea, etc, or you can look for palettes containing a particular RGB color value.
Colour Lovers in a site where people can create and upload their own color palettes, read articles, and explore color trends in everything from fashion to web design to home decor. The site has all kinds of fun premium tools that are free to try, such as Seamless Studio, which is a tool for creating intricate vector patterns. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, information, or just want to play around, it’s a site you can find yourself spending hours on.
Ok…I’ll admit my dorkiness right away and let you know that for the longest time I thought this was pronounced “cooler.” Way to totally miss the connection, right? Anyway, I have a love for many things made by Adobe (Illustrator + Photoshop = LOVE) and this site is no exception. You will need Adobe Flash Player version 10.0.12 or higher, but that’s a quick download.
The site contains links to some interesting articles on color theory, but the main attraction is the color mixing tool. You can upload an image and have Kuler generate a palette from that (you can ever decide the mood you’re looking for, like bright or muted) or you can generate your own. If you’ve created a Kuler account, you can even upload your theme or export the file to work with later. Best part of all, as you play with your colors, it gives you the HEX, CMYK, RGB, and HSV values for recreating them later. If you’re still stuck, you can browse through thousands of color schemes other people have created and find inspiration there.
Although I encountered quite a few dead links on my last visit, you can still find a lot of helpful tools here. You can find HTML color codes, a visual representation of dozens of different color names (not sure if you and your client are on the same page when you’re talking about “periwinkle?” Show them this), a color scheme generator, and some interesting articles about color theory.
This is a great tool for when you want to quickly create a color palette from a specific image. All you do is enter the URL of the photo you want to use, and the site creates both a dull and vibrant color palette based on that photo. Check out the one it created when I entered the header image of this site (nevermind that the image is smushed – it does that).