Whether you’re working on laying out a new crowdfunding website or are piecing together a promotional newsletter or brochure, you already know that great design is key for building and fostering a positive brand identity. And, when it comes to design that is both beautiful and visually appealing, you also know that there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. You need to pay attention to your space, balance, and arrangement. You need to carefully select shapes and fonts. But, what’s the one thing that’s most likely to jump off the page and grab you? Color.
That’s right, identifying an attractive color scheme is one of the basic elements of high-quality design. But, whether you’re a graphic design aficionado or a total newbie designer, finding your perfect color palette can present a challenge.
Luckily, you don’t need to spend your time testing out every color of the rainbow in order to determine a suitable color theme for your project. These tools will help you find the perfect palette in no time!
Hex Color Scheme Generator
Perhaps you have a basic idea of what colors you’d like to use. For instance, you know that you want the background of your project to be a soothing, pale blue. But, you’re not sure where to go from there. What colors should you use for fonts? What accent color would work well?
Hex Color Scheme Generator is the helpful tool you need! Simply enter the hex code of your chosen color, and it will generate a palette of hues that perfectly complement your selected shade. Just looking for some inspiration? You can also click around on the color wheel to see some pre-made palettes!
Adobe Color CC
Adobe produces a huge assortment of software and programs for designers and creative professionals. So, it comes as no surprise that their resource for finding color themes is a great one.
Adobe Color CC offers an array of options for your color schemes, while still being simple and intuitive to use. To start, you can use the dropdown to select from seven different general categories for your palette, including monochromatic, triad, or complementary themes. Then, drag the dial around the comprehensive color wheel in order to create a variety of different color schemes — each consisting of five colors. It’s easy to operate, while still boasting nearly limitless color options!
Inspiration can come from all sorts of different places and outlets. For instance, perhaps you’ve found a gorgeous photograph with colors that really speak to you. With Pictaculous, you can upload the image from your computer into the generator. This handy tool will process the image and then spit out the hex codes for the major colors included in that photograph.
I gave the tool a try, using a snapshot of some flowers at my local farmer’s market. I was curious to see what the platform would do with a photo that contained a variety of colors. Pictaculous gave me a vivid palette with bright greens and yellows, with a few earthy shades mixed in. Underneath the main palette the generator produced, there are numerous other suggested palettes to consider. This is a great option if you already have a piece of inspiration that you want to use for your design!
Whether you have a specific color in mind or you’re completely starting from scratch, Coolors can help you generate your perfect color palette. The interface is incredibly user-friendly — and fun, too!
Hit the space bar to start viewing different color palettes. If a color really jumps out at you, click on it to lock it in place. Then, continue hitting the space bar to view shades that work well with that locked color.
If you already have a particular color you want to use, type in the hex code to start clicking through palettes that complement your chosen color. Using the tool, you can also adjust the color settings and change the order of the shades. Once you’ve settled on your palette, you can either copy the link or export it to a variety of file types — so you’ll always have it for reference!
Maybe you don’t want to build your own color palette, and are just browsing for a bunch of different pre-made options you can choose from. Colrd offers a vast assortment of palettes created by their users.
You can sort through a variety of categories, including palettes and gradients. Once you see a palette you like, click it to view your options. From there, you have the ability to view the codes in HEX, RGB, and HSL formats. You can also download the entire palette as an Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Gimp color swatch.
There are essentially limitless options when it comes to selecting a color palette for your design projects. But, those options should be inspiring, not overwhelming. These helpful tools and generators will help you sort through all of your options to find the perfect color palette — with very little work!
Title photo by Emi Yañez.