Being able to select the right color combination is key to creating and intriguing and effective design, whether for print or the web. Achieving the right balance within the design is key to communicating a strong message easily and consistently to readers or users since color psychology have been proven to "trigger" certain types of emotions. The Internet is choke full of color combination tools that promise color nirvana to anyone who cares to listen. But not all tools have the same capabilities though, and most are no more than basic rip-offs of the better, more popular tools.
To make things easier or you, below is a list of the 10 web-based tools for choosing color combinations for your design:
1. Adobe Kuler
This tool has a versatile, user friendly cloud based interface that offers a slick experience. It was designed around 3 core principles: users can build, browse and share color schemes through the interface (site), the desktop (using Adobe air app) or the Adobe Mac OS X Dashboard widget. Adobe Kuler is also accessible inside the Adobe CS4 suite.
The tool allows you to search color schemes by concept, color, tags, hex values and more. Another incredibly useful feature is the ability to create schemes based on the colors or images you upload. Once you've chosen the right color combination, you only need to download it as an Adobe Swatch Exchange file or by accessing the values in the color table.
This handy tool is a little more than just a simple color scheme designer. It consists of an active community of creative people who are passionate about color. It is the place where discussions on color related topics take place and colors, palettes, patterns and the latest trends are shared. As of now, the site boats over 6.2 million colors in about 2.4 million color palettes created then share by users. Of special interest is Copaso, the advanced color pallet tool that allows you to create custom themes and gorgeous color schemes. You can either pick the right colors from their color wheel or upload the image and pixelate it to isolate certain colors. Moreover, a useful search tool that allows you to find palettes and colors was created by this impressive community.
3. Color rotate
This lets you explore colors and choose color combinations by generating 3D color palettes in real time similar to the way color is perceived by the human brain. You can use the free tool online or download it as an iPhone app. It can be connected to Adobe Photoshop CS6 or CS5 to update background and foreground colors then send them to the desktop as palettes.
The provided 3Dpyramid is fun and intuitive and makes it easy to vary color tints or hues while simultaneously blending two colors. Furthermore, the tool allows you to check how the palette you choose works with typography, browse through a list of palettes and export your customer color palettes in multiple formats.
4. Color scheme designer
Color Scheme Designer has an incredibly simple to use interface, which means anyone can start creating their color palettes within a few seconds. There is an array of options for the kind of scheme you need, front accented analogue to monochromatic. These choices have an effect on the number of colors in a palette and how they interact with each other.
Other than the Ubiquitous color picker, several other options are provided for fine tuning your color palette. Adjust Variant allows you to edit colors separately while the Color-Blind preview is the perfect way to simulate how individuals with color related vision deficiencies will perceive the chosen color scheme. The palette can be exported in various formats, with the text option providing the best flexibility.
This tool uses an uploaded image to generate a dedicated palette. It generates a primary palette with five colors from the colors extracted directly from the image. The online tool pulls in color suggestions from ColorLovers and Adobe Kuler. One feature that sets Pictaculous apart from other tools is that you can use your phone to take a picture upload, it to the service, and matching color palettes, complete with hex codes are generated. This is ideal as more people are likely to spot inspiration on the go and Pictaculous lets you generate a color palette quickly from the snaps. The created pallets can be downloaded as Adobe Photoshop Swatch files or by copying the values in the hex table.
6. Color Blender
Color Blender's mode of operation is to generate a 6-color blend from the chosen base color which makes it easy to create a complementary color scheme efficiently. For starters, use the color picker to choose your preferred color, then the tool will automatically calculate a 6-color matching palette. In case you wish to have better control over the palette, you can switch to "Direct Edit" to edit different colors individually. This mode allows you to select any from the 6 color swatches and use RGB sliders to edit it.
A few options are provided for exposing the generated palette. You can bookmark the palette in your browser, send it via email or download it as a .PCT (Photoshop color table.
7. Color Explorer
This is a suite packed with multiple handy tools for working with and designing color palettes. It boats a well-organized feature set that can be used together or individually. You can go straight to the Color Picker, try using the color matching tool using the RGB mix or take the saturation, lightness, and hue approach. You have 8 color matching algorithms at your disposal but you can also explore the conversion and analysis tools as well as the color library.
The tools extract palettes from uploaded images or from CSS, .txt or HTML files. The pallets can be exported for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop in native Adobe Swatch Exchange file format. You can also export it as a PNG image overlaid with HTML color codes and RGB values or as plain text.
8. Colors On The Web
Colors On The Web was launched as an ASP application in 2000, but it is now a full flash application complete with variations and features for creating complete palettes. It is equipped with Color Wizard which allows you to use a base color to generate a matching palette.
Apart from being able to generate matching 5-color palettes from the base color, the app also returns a set of saturation, hue, shade, and tint variations. In case you experience trouble creating a custom color palette, an option to generate a random one is provided. Colors are exported as hex code values.
9. Color Munki
This tool offers color control solutions for both designers and photographers. The main tool is provided as a downloadable software package, but the website also features a free palettes creation area. This offers the introductory functionality needed to get you started in created your custom color combination.
Start by choosing a color, then clicking on it. A list of options will be provided. Go to "Add Patch" and the color will be added to your palette. After this, you will be able to access harmonious and similar colors download it or save it for future reference.
While it may be the simplest tool on this list, Oto255 can by no means be considered as less useful. The tool lets you find multiple colors in the same spectrum within a few seconds without having to manually look for darker or lighter shades of the chosen color. This makes it ideal for finding the perfect border, gradient, or hover color. You only need to find the color, select it with a mouse click and its hex code will be automatically copied to the clipboard.
Author Bio: Jason Smith is an online manager for WebpageFX. Jason likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.