Image via Wikimedia Commons
One of my favorite parts of designing is getting to play with color. There are a large variety of free tools on the internet for creating color schemes or just discovering new and interesting colors to work with. If you're looking for inspiration or just some free tools, here's a list of the sites we use most often at DotConcepts.
Color Schemes and Palettes
- Color Combos - Test your palettes and check complementary colors for any color in your scheme or check out their color scheme library.
- Color Hunter - Browse or create color schemes from images. Can use either online or uploaded images. Search their library by tag or hex code for more schemes.
- Color Scheme Designer - Pick a color and create a variety of different schemes from monochromatic to accented analogic. Light and dark page examples show your color scheme on a layout.
- Colour Lovers - I can't get enough of this site; from trends to individual colors to these top color schemes, its an endless resource for all things color.
- Color Match Remix - A basic color matching tool with a dynamic preview. Other than being limited by allowing only a base color change, its a quick way to see what colors you might be missing from your palette.
- Colorjack - A fantastic resource overall; this particular view shows the most used color schemes. Their "Spy" view lets you see what color schemes people have created recently. There are many other useful tools here as well.
- ColorSchemer Palettes - User created schemes sorted by highest rated; they can be imported into the ColorSchemer Studio (commercial software).
- Colr - Pick your own color scheme out of any image. Uses Flickr streams or upload your own photo. Find matching color schemes or images from stock photo websites with the same color.
- DeGraeve Color Palette Generator - Create a 5-part color scheme in dull and vibrant varieties from any online image.
- JRM Color Palette Generator - A quick and simple tool to create a grid of colors from an image (you choose how many). Only works with uploads.
- Kuler - Browse the last 30 days of user generated color schemes by rating; check what's popular and fresh.
- Pic2color - Generate a color scheme from any image, online or off. Click on any color to generate a palette of close shades to help narrow down your color choice.
Individual Color Resources
- EasyRGB Color Calculator - Powerful calculator for converting between different color standards.
- Easy RGB Commercial Tins - If you've ever liked a design so much you wanted to put it on your wall, you can use this tool to convert your RGB into the appropriate tint from many commercial product lines. (or vice versa if you want your wall color in your design)
- Genopal - Choose any color to generate a 16-piece palette of similar shades and tints. Excellent if you know almost, but not quite, the color you're looking for or for tweaking a color to better mesh with your overall scheme.
- HP's Color Thesaurus - World's largest color thesaurus; figure out what to call a color, its synonyms or even what the "opposite" color would be.
- Slayer Office Color Palette Creator - Pick any base color and see 10 shades of opacity - 5 over black, 5 over white. You can also change those blend colors and see what your color might look like mixed with pink, for example.
Other Color Resources
- Color, Contrast and Dimension - A tutorial of color theory as it applies to design
- Color Worqz - Another excellent reference site for all things related to color.
- Colorstrology - A take on astrology, using color.
- The Dimensions of Color - Tons of reference information about colors from hue and saturation to chroma and color vision.
- Fashion Trendsetter Color Decoder - The latest color trends in the fashion industry.
- Handprint's Color Theory - A great reference for aspects of color theory, application and other color concepts.
- Liquidsoft - Tutorial on Color Theory - An introduction to color theory. For a more in depth discussion, see Wikipedia's article on color theory
- Pantone's Color Trends - The latest trends and color reports from Pantone.
- Sherwin Williams Color Trends 2010 - This years color forecast from Sherwin Williams and archives from previous years.
- Wikipedia's List of Colors - Sorted by name and together in shade, its all the color names Wikipedia has an article on (just in case you ever need to know what color Wenge really is).
Are we missing your favorite color resource? Leave us a comment here so we can review it and possibly add it to the list.