But first, check out the Ultimate Guide to Choosing Colors for your Blog or Website to help you figure out a game plan for choosing your colors wisely.
1. Adobe Kuler
Use this site to get to know the color wheel. Create Analogous, Monochromatic, Triadic, Complimentary, etc. color schemes based off of one starter color. Explore color schemes created by other designers as a starting point to build off of. Save color schemes you’ve created by opening a free account.
Browse this site for inspiration on color palettes and repeating patterns based off certain colors. I’ll admit it’s not updated often, but you can view color trends in branding, product design, interior design, fashion, wedding invitations and even websites. ColourLovers even has tools to create your own repeating patterns, Twitter themes, and color palettes from photographs. It’s a great site for inspiration!
Another source to discover color palettes, gradient colors, palettes based on images and patterns. You can even sort your searches based on a specific color. Create your own palettes with a free account here too.
Start with one color. Either pick from the color wheel or enter a hexadecimal code to start with, then click Pick Color to view the various tints, shades, tones and similar colors to your starting color.
What a neat tool! Start by sliding the RGB (red, green, blue) sliders and above you’ll see the color swatches change accordingly. Pretty fun to see what you can come up with based on giving your palette more or less blue, more or less red, etc. The swatches will tell you what their RGB and Hexadecimal codes are.
6. Combine Colors Tool
Stuck trying to choose between two similar colors? Try blending them to see if you like the result with this tool!
This site is fun to play with! As you drag your mouse across the screen, the color palettes change: up for shades, down for tints, left and right to change the color tones. In the slideout panel to the left, choose which color scheme you’d like to start with, then start dragging away. The plus and minus at the sides of the screen allow you to add or remove swatches. Lock down a color scheme you like by clicking on the screen.
ColorSchemer is another site to browse color palettes. You can also search for color schemes based on a color you choose by entering the hex code or color name.
9. Design Seeds Palette Search
You probably already know about Design Seeds from Pinterest where you can browse hundreds of beautiful photographs and their color palettes. But did you know she also has a palette searcher on her website where you can search her photos and palettes either by theme or by color?
10. Color Wizard
Color Wizard is a very robust tool in which you can enter a hex code for a favorite color then choose palettes based on it. You can choose monochromatic, analagous, complimentary schemes and more, then you can play with variations of that color by sliding the RGB values or changing the saturation, tints or shades.
11. Hex Color
What’s cool about Hex-Color.com is that you can start with one favorite color and it provides information about colors including color models (RGB, HSL, HSV and CMYK), triadic colors, monochromatic colors, analogous and complementary color schemes so you can find a nice color scheme based on that one color. Thanks to Sophie at Wonderful Wanderings for this one.
12. Color Scheme Generator
I love this tool because it lets you start out with one favorite color, then find a scheme based off of that one color!
Many of these tools essentially do the same thing, but we all have different learning preferences, so try out a couple of them to see which one(s) resonate with you most. For more tools and to learn how to choose colors, check out Ultimate Guide to Choosing Colors for your Blog or Website.
Bonus: Browser Extensions
There a few other tools that will come in handy during your color search and those are browser extensions. Browser extensions are basically apps that you can install right into your internet browser. I only use and recommend one, but have fun searching and trying out some others.
ColorZilla is an advanced eye dropper tool. After it’s installed, a little eye dropper icon will appear in your toolbar. You can click it at any time, then move your cursor to a pixel of any website, click again and it’ll copy the hex code onto your clipboard. It keeps the history of recently picked colors. You can also analyze the colors used on a webpage.
Find and install add-ons to add features to Firefox. You’ll then have to search for ‘ColorZilla.’
How to add extensions to Chrome. You’ll then have to search for ‘ColorZilla.’
What are YOUR favorite color picking tools? If you’ve tried any of these, please share your thoughts about them. Or feel free to add any I might have missed!