Instead of doing a typical design inspiration post today, I thought I would share my go-to places and to find the colors I use in my designs. One of my favorite parts of the design process is putting together the color palette. I just love finding colors that work well together. It’s also a fairly challenging part of the process, and it would be even more difficult if it weren’t for these wonderful tools and sources (I even included some tips at the end!)
Design Seeds is amazing. You can do a palette search by moving the RBB color scales, or you can search by a theme. You can also click on any color on a palette and find other palettes containing a similar color. Like I said, amazing.
Pantone is an obvious choice for color hunting- I mean they are the ones who prescribe the Color the of Year, which everyone seems to abide by. That’s a lot of color authority. They have tons of ways to search for colors, including the Color Finder shown above and collections to browse.
Pinterest is not only a great way to organize color inspiration, but it’s also a great way to find collections that others have curated of their favorite color schemes. Pinterest is also great for discovering new color sources; it’s how I came across Design Seeds, and there are others out there like it.
This isn’t really a source per say, but if I didn’t have it none of those other sources would matter. Instant Eyedropper allows you to get the HEX color code from any color on your screen, which is pretty crucial when you’re designing or coding a site. All you have to do is click and drag over the color and it copies the code for you! It’s a little annoying in Photoshop because Photoshop cuts off the last character, so you have to delete the # and retype the last character, but otherwise it’s amazing. I highly recommend that you get this or something similar if you’re putting together color palettes.
Now that you know where to search for colors, here are a few pointers on making your own color palettes:
- Frankenpalette. I rarely use a color palette that I find in it’s entirety. If you make the palette yourself, the design will be more unique and well thought out for your project.
- Try to keep it simple. I like to pick 3 or 4 colors max and use shades and tints (darker, lighter, more or less saturated) of those colors in the design. That’s not including neutrals, a lot of times if I’m using gray I’ll use up and down the grayscale depending on what I’m using the gray for.
- Test your palette. A lot of times I’ll make this palette that looks great in those big circles, but when I go to make it a text color it’s either too dull or too bright or just off. Make sure you tailor your colors to what you’re using them for. That blue you use for your background probably won’t work exactly for the post titles.
- Don’t be afraid to pick your own. Sometimes I’ll find a color on a palette and it won’t really be working, but I’m scared to stray from it. There’s nothing wrong with playing with the color and picking your own color- it doesn’t have to be from a swatch you found.
Hope this was helpful! Do you have any favorite color sources?