Tip #1485: 5 Resources for Color Palettes

… for Visual Effects

Tip #1485: 5 Resources for Color Palettes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Picking the right colors from 16 million just got easier.

A sample set of palettes from Adobe Color CC.

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This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

When you open the color picker on your favorite piece of software, you are hit with what seems like an unlimited number of options. To be exact, there are 16,777,216 hex code color options to choose from. Which you gonna pick?

Fortunately, there are lots of great online resources for finding and creating your own color palettes. When it comes time for your next color palette, check out these sites first.

  • Adobe Color CC. A great place to start is with Adobe’s color tool. Some of you may have used it when it was called Kuler. Adobe has since updated the name to match the rest of the CC branding. The Adobe Color CC “Create” tool uses fundamental color theory principles to help you build palettes with up to 5 colors. You simply pick a base color from the color wheel, and you’ll be given a harmonious “analogous” palette.
  • Coolors. Coolors is another palette generator similar to Adobe Color but with a different look and feel. When you visit the site, you simply hit “Start The Generator” to load a random color palette. Palette colors are presented in large strips across the screen that can be dragged into different orders, and each has its own set of controls for shifting the individual color. You can even see the values for HSB, RGB, CMYK, PMS, and COPIC.
  • Paletton. One more generator to take a look at is Paletton. Their layout is a little more similar to Adobe Color CC than Coolor’s. The Paletton color wheel gives you the choice of working with 1, 2, 3, or 4 colors evenly spaced on the color wheel. You can then rotate around the wheel adjusting all of the colors at once. You can adjust the angle between the color choices within the wheel, or adjust the hue variances along the wheel axis.
  • Colourlovers. Colourlovers is an entire community built around appreciating colors and recognizing trends in color usage. There are loads and loads of pre-made palettes to choose from, created by Colourlovers users. And palettes can be browsed in a number of ways including shapes, patterns, and individual color swatches.
  • Color Hunt. Color Hunt is the simplest of the resources on the list, but a great way to get inspired or just stumble across the perfect palette for your next project. You can browse through the newest selected palettes or sort by the most popular, and upon clicking a palette, you’ll see it used in a variety of ways like in a ring and on a map. There is no export function, so you’ll just want to copy the hex codes for a palette you like or take a screenshot.


The MotionArray article contains video demos of each service, along with links and more details.

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