3 Online Resources for Color Creativity


color wheelIt used to be only graphic designers and fine artists played with color professionally. Now everyone with a website gets to choose color themes and schemes. But where do you find help and inspiration? Here are three resources you might want to check out if you need to get creative with colors online.

Adobe Kuler color theme creation and sharing tool. From Adobe Labs, this Flash-based tool lets you create color schemes, tag them, share them, and download them. When you create a scheme, you can choose from rules like Analogous (close together on the color wheel) and Complementary (opposite each other) or make a completely custom scheme.

Kuler color scheme creator

Sessions color calculatorSessions.edu color wheel calculator. Also based on Adobe Flash, the Sessions.edu color wheel tool works similarly to the Kuler creation tool, but it offers the nice feature of letting you see your color choices mix it up in one of four abstract designs. It also offers a different set of rules than Kuler — I especially like the “triangle” choice which gives a split complement scheme.

COLOURlovers color and design community. This website offers a wealth of resources for picking colors and staying on top of color trends. Go to the Palettes page to search thousands of color schemes developed by COLOURlovers community members, Trends to see where magazines and websites are going with color, and the Forums to talk color.

Colourlovers palettes

Share your favorite resources for getting creative with color in the comments.


Brian Rock

Nice tip. Colourlovers seems like an awesome site. I’ll be heading there next time I need to pick a color scheme.

I’ve tried the simple random generators before, but the color schemes never seemed to pan out in the end. It’s nice to see a selection of schemes that people actually worked out.

Michael Thompson

COLOURlovers is by far the best site on the web for color inspiration. Their recent addition of patterns and their new palette creation tool are giving sites like Squidfingers and Adobe’s Kuler a run for their money.

That said, Kuler is not a copycat of COLOURlovers. If anything, it’s more the other way around — but most of the color matching formulas cannot be attributed to either.

There is derivation of Kuler in Illustrator CS3 (Live Color), if you don’t feel like loading up the Adobe site regularly.

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