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Five useful colour scheme websites

As a designer, sometimes it can feel challenging trying to get colour schemes for your clients that fit just right. Whether to use bright colours or dark colours? Do the colours complement each other? What colours best convey the mood you want to establish? What colours properly represent your clients business?

There are many aspects that you have to look at, and so here I will tell you about five websites I find useful in helping me make up my mind when it comes to choosing or creating a colour scheme.

1. Kuler.com

The first website on my list is adobe kuler, which is located at kuler.adobe.com. It enables you to create colour schemes or use colour schemes made by others.

When creating colour schemes with kuler, you can choose to either make the colour scheme from a colour, or to create it from a picture, both of which can be very useful. The option to create a scheme from a colour is able to accept colours from hexadecimal codes (hex), as well as colours selected from its colour wheel, and it then generates complementing colours depending on what rule you have it set to follow, which ranges from analogous schemes to your own custom colour rules.

Adobe kuler also has a section called “pulse”, which is very useful in helping you find popular colours in certain countries, or even in certain seasons. It is a good source of inspiration when looking for that perfect shade. This site also has an interesting area for community spotlights, which can make an interesting read.

2. 2createawebsite.com

The second website on my list is a part of 2createawebsite.com, which can be located here. It has two very useful utilities on it, which can help you when coming up with a colour scheme.

The first useful utility on this page is a colour selector, which enables you to find a nice colour and shade, which it then outputs as a hex code, which you can either use in your design software such as Photoshop straight away, or you can use that hex code in the second useful utility on this page, which will take your colours hex code, and generate a full colour scheme from it, which it will then give you multiple hex codes for, for use in your design software, or direct css colours.

I tend to use this site when I have less time, and so can’t sit on a site like adobe kuler for too long.

3. e-infotainment.com

The third website on my list, while similar to the second, enables you to do practically the same thing, but faster. It is a part of the e-infotainment website, and can be located here.

Just as before, this site allows you to find a colour, and then get its hex code, or the hex codes of a matching scheme, but unlike before, rather than separately type in the first hex code into the second part, this website updates the matching colour scheme as you are still picking your base colour. I also use this one when trying to be a bit faster, and also like the way in which it also allows you to change the type of colour scheme, similar to in adobe kuler, but within a much simpler and faster user interface.

4. colortoy.net

The fourth website on my list takes a completely different approach to the first three. This site is for when you are either looking for colour inspiration, or when you are feeling lucky. This site generates a random colour scheme for you to look at, and you can keep on asking it for random colour schemes until you find one which you are happy with. This site can be located here, and is also available as an iPhone app.
I find this site somewhat useful when looking for quick colour inspiration, which is likely to be a tad more unique than the user-generated ones on adobe kuler.

The fifth and final website on this list is a pretty cool site, even though it is currently still in beta stages. It is a site which enables you to get a daily colour scheme, to help with your inspiration, and so is appropriately called dailycolorscheme, and is located at beta.dailycolorscheme.com.

I hope that you find this selection of sites as useful as I do, and remember to also think about colour psychology while choosing your colour schemes when appropriate, which is a topic I plan to write about in the near future if you keep an eye on my blog 😉  .

If there are any websites which you feel should be included, please feel free to share them in the comments.

EDIT: Someone contacted me via email with a very good suggestion as an addition, which I thought deserved to be added, which is a site called color scheme designer at www.colorschemedesigner.com.

Adam Turner (Dynumo interactive studios)

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