10 Super Useful Tools for Choosing the Right Color Palette

By / May 26, 2009 / Tools
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Whether you are designing a clean corporate website or a grunge portfolio site, color is going to play a major role in how the design is perceived by the audience. That’s why it’s important to get the colors right upfront. There are plenty of tools out there made especially for this, but like anything else some are better than others. Here are 10 color tools that I think are exceptionally useful.

ColoRotate

ColoRotate

As well as being a useful way to choose colors, ColoRotate looks cool and is actually fun to use. Instead of using two dimensional viewers, it presents color palettes to you in 3d and in real time.

Kuler

Kuler

Kuler is a community driven web app that lets your browse color palettes created by others. You can also create your own by using the color wheel, harmony rules, and color sliders.

Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer

Color Scheme Designer has been around for a while, but was just recently updated with a brand new interface and a new color scheme generating engine.

COLOURlovers

COLOURlovers

COLOURlovers provides more than just a way to find color palettes. It is also a place to network with other people to discuss color related topics, and read interesting articles about all things color.

Copaso

Copaso

Copaso is COLOURlovers palette generating tool. It’s rich feature set allows you to save colors to a scratch pad, extract colors from a photo, and publish a palette for thousands of other people to see.

Color Blender

Color Blender

Color Blender let’s you select a preferred color and then it generates a six color blend based on that color. From there you can tweak each individual color.

Toucan

Toucan

Toucan allows you to select up to 20 colors for each palette either by using color association or from an uploaded image.

ColorMunki

ColorMunki

ColorMunki gives you the ability to search colors from built in libraries and using keywords.

Color Wizard

Color Wizard

With Color Wizard you can submit a base color and it generates color schemes based on your color’s complementary color, split complementary colors, analogous colors and other variations.

Color Explorer

Color Explorer

Color Explorer is a fairly new color palette generating tool, but boasts a well organized set of features.

About the Author

Henry Jones is a web developer, designer, and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. He is the founder of WDL and ThemeTrust.

59 Comments

  1. Matt
    May 26, 2009

    ColorRotate and Color Explorer are new to me, and they look very nice. Kudos.

    Reply
  2. FreelancerCrowd
    May 26, 2009

    ColoRotate looks wanderful

    Reply
  3. @jeffrainey
    May 26, 2009

    I love Kuler, but will need to checkout the others. Thanks man!

    Reply
  4. Daan
    May 26, 2009

    Nice collection ;)

    for the iPhone, there’s cliqcliq, which is an awesome service :D

    Reply
  5. Black Sand
    May 26, 2009

    Thanks for great post

    Reply
  6. Brian Reich
    May 26, 2009

    I used Color Scheme (not listed) until Creative Suite 4 was released. I love that Kuler is fully integrated into most of the CS4 applications.

    Reply
  7. Michael
    May 26, 2009

    Great post, and well researched. These sorts of overview lists are useful for folks. Thanks for including our ColoRotate project. We added a link to your post to our media relations page:
    http://about.colorotate.org/media-relations.html

    Reply
  8. webadelic
    May 26, 2009

    Great post, colour combos are a pain in the ass to get right. Bookmarked!

    Reply
  9. Kayla
    May 26, 2009

    I always use ColorSchemeDesigner, but a few of the other ones look pretty cool. I’ll have to check them out. Great post, thank you.

    Reply
  10. Brian Cray
    May 26, 2009

    My favorite would definitely be Color Schemer, but many of these are new to me!

    Reply
  11. Matt
    May 26, 2009

    Where was this when I needed it last week!

    Reply
  12. ZJohn Ojnes
    May 26, 2009

    ColoRotate totaqlly ROCKS. Awesome program!

    RET
    http://www.Privacy-Center.ent

    Reply
  13. Justin
    May 26, 2009

    great post! Always looking for ways to bring a site together with the use of color. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. seo nh
    May 26, 2009

    Excellent group of tools. I love the 3d view of ColorRotate. That is really helpful.

    Reply
  15. Kamrul
    May 27, 2009

    ColoRotate looks good but to me color wizard is user friendly.

    Reply
  16. PB
    May 27, 2009

    I used Color Scheme (not listed) until Creative Suite 4 was released. I love that Kuler is fully integrated into most of the CS4 applications.

    Reply
  17. Liora
    May 27, 2009

    Excellent, comprehensive list that covers all possible color options. I have used Color Lovers in the past and adore the way they display their swatches and combos.

    Reply
  18. Orggu
    May 27, 2009

    These will help me so much in The Sims 3 interior- and outfit desing. ;)

    Reply
  19. Flash Gamer
    May 27, 2009

    Very good list, I didn’t know about a lot of these.

    I’d add colorjack.com to the list. Great site.

    Reply
  20. mauco
    May 27, 2009

    Out of all the 10, I’m only familiar with Colourlovers. Glad to find this list.

    Reply
  21. Henrietta of RedINKdiary
    May 27, 2009

    Bookmarked! Thank you so much.

    Reply
  22. Toni
    May 28, 2009

    Colour-Lovers is a great resource. I love their blog section.

    Thanks for the posting!

    Reply
  23. IT Mentality
    May 28, 2009

    Love COLOURlovers, Big fan here

    Reply
  24. Neon
    May 28, 2009

    I agree with Flash Gamer, should definitly add ColorJack to this list. ColorSphere and it’s OSX desktop wedget are fabulous tools.

    Reply
  25. theodin
    May 28, 2009

    wicked list of resources, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  26. Wayy
    May 28, 2009

    awesome list, thank you!

    Reply
  27. Casper
    May 29, 2009

    there is great descriptions for make right colors for make any good theme for your cooperate or blogging themes, thanks.

    Casper

    Reply
  28. Kate
    May 29, 2009

    Very cool!

    And one of my favorite is SoftFuse Nice Tables http://www.softfuse.com/nice-tables/ It has built-in color generator as well…

    Reply
  29. web design gold coast
    June 2, 2009

    Thanks so much… very useful indeed!

    Reply
  30. ◄IVAN►
    June 15, 2009

    very cool!
    thanX :)

    Reply
  31. Harsh Agrawal
    June 20, 2009

    Thanks a lot for useful post. Most of them are online tools, which one is the best tool for desktop?
    Moreover plz enable subscribe to comment. I need to follow this thread…

    Reply
  32. Anna Cesario
    June 22, 2009

    Wow! Very cool.

    Reply
  33. Heiko Schmieder
    June 26, 2009

    Great tool collection – bookmarked!

    Thanks

    Reply
  34. fahad
    August 23, 2009

    color combination was always a great issue for me but through these tools, I feel I can overcome them.

    Reply
  35. Honey Singh
    September 8, 2009

    Always found of designing resources like these.
    Looking forward for more resources.

    Reply
  36. Dinesh
    September 23, 2009

    Awesome list.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply
  37. Themescope
    September 28, 2009

    Thanks for this, i didn’t know there were this many varieties.

    Reply
  38. rechie
    October 5, 2009

    thanks for the blog. its very helpfull for me and for my friends. keep up the good work.

    Reply
  39. Website Design Gold Coast
    October 5, 2009

    Great tools for when I’m not on my computer.
    Thanks for the list.

    Do any of the sites have accounts where you can save your colour selections and come back to them later?

    Reply
  40. Stijn
    October 19, 2009

    For me: http://www.colorschemer.com/ !

    Reply
  41. James Childers
    November 24, 2009

    Check out pictaculous.com. Will generate a palate from an uploaded image…

    Reply
  42. The Four Key Components of a Great Web Design | Web Design Ledger
    November 24, 2009

    [...] Adobe’s Kuler is a community driven web app that lets your browse color palettes created by others. You can also create your own by using the color wheel, harmony rules, and color sliders. There are also other tools to help you choose the right colors. [...]

    Reply
  43. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing
    November 25, 2009

    Working with colors will now be more fun thanks to this compilation….a wrong choice of color combination can ruin all your efforts…these tools will be a great help not only in mixing and matching colors but also in choosing the exact shade…..

    Reply
  44. Orhan
    December 5, 2009

    A very helpful post. I knew up to now only Kuler. The alternatives very feel also well. Above all colorschemedesigner. It is very friendly to operator.

    Reply
  45. aks
    December 10, 2009

    wow awesome collection. thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  46. Nitesh Patel @techmadly
    January 31, 2010

    hey nice very helpful throughout and i was always confused when selecting palette

    Reply
  47. Poster Printing
    February 1, 2010

    You are so right! Getting the color right the first time is very important. Everything from poster printing to brochure printing relies so heavily on the perfect color choice. And there is virtually no way to choose the right color tools without a guide like this one. Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
  48. 50 Inspiring iPhone Application Websites | Inspiration
    February 8, 2010

    [...] Here you will find inspiration in many different subjects of web design – such as typography, colors scheme, textures, layouts, images disposal and so on. So sit back and enjoy these pretty inspiring [...]

    Reply
  49. engineer
    February 23, 2010

    copaso is just awesome . . .

    Reply
  50. Alessandro
    February 26, 2010

    Colourlovers is the best site.

    Reply
  51. Dale
    March 14, 2010

    Never seen Kuler before, glad you mentioned it. :D

    Reply
  52. 50 Yellow Web Designs to Inspire You | Inspiration
    March 15, 2010

    [...] to Inspire You tweetmeme_source = 'webdesignledger'; tweetmeme_service = 'bit.ly'; Color is an important aspect of web design. Good web designers choose color carefully to serve a purpose. [...]

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  53. 55 Inspiring Examples of Gradients in Web Design | Inspiration
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    [...] = 'webdesignledger'; tweetmeme_service = 'bit.ly'; Gradients are a great way to add interest, color, and even depth to a web design. You can use the same color in many shades, many shades of many [...]

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    [...] tweetmeme_source = 'webdesignledger'; tweetmeme_service = 'bit.ly'; Sometimes a lot of color, textures, and design elements can make a web design jump off the screen, but there are times when [...]

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  55. 55 Beautifully Blue Web Designs to Inspire You | Inspiration
    April 19, 2010

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  56. Jasim Muhammed
    August 4, 2011

    I must addup one more site which has recently released. http://uicart.com it gives option to showcase userinterfaces and search with color patterns. You can search how those colors are best combined in results.

    Reply
  57. Techno World News
    July 16, 2012

    I personally like ColoRotate, just awesome tool for color choosing, I will use it in future….

    Reply
  58. Howard Steele
    June 25, 2013

    Deciding on the right colors is crucial for any design. Thanks for sharing these tools!

    Reply
  59. alex
    December 29, 2013

    Pictoria – Color Palettes mobile app was recently published on Google Play. Here you can take a look at it https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pro.pictoria.ColorPalettes

    Reply

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