Purple people eater Create a website-worthy color scheme from an inspiration image with ColorSuckr

Posted by maggie.hunsucker August 11, 2009

coloursuckr logoWith the abundance of blogging and publishing platforms, just about anyone can create a website.   The trick is getting that do-it-yourself job to look like it’s professionally designed.

A great place to start for inspiration is the ColorSuckr website.   ColorSuckr lets you pull the color scheme from any online photo.   You can grab a Flickr image, upload your own image to Flickr, then grab it, or point ColorSuckr to a webpage.   If more than one image exists, ColorSuckr lets you choose which one to extract.

ColorSuckr pulls up to 12 colors from each image and gives you the RGB, Hex, and Web Safe values for each.  You probably won’t need the latter, as web safe colors are almost an archaic convention in web design (harks back to when computers could only display a set number of colors with accuracy).  Still, nice to have all your bases covered.

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We like the narrow focus of this tool (seconded by our in-house designers).  Adobe’s Kuler offers a similar feature, but Kuler can be a bit overwhelming for the novice designer.  ColorSuckr is quick, easy, and accurate.  Like the color scheme on another website?  Point ColorSuckr that way.

The reality is, poor color choices can overwhelm your website and distract a reader from your content.   So ditch the chartreuse font and creepy flesh-toned background (it may work for Prada, but not for your website).  Find an image or website with a beautiful color story and let that be your inspiration. ColorSuckr will do the rest.

No shortage of tech goodies here. ColorSucker offers both a FireFox Add-on and a multi-browser bookmarklet that lets you grab color codes from website images as you're viewing them. It also lets you download an Adobe .ACO swatch file, so you can pull it into your design software.

Choosing a color palette is usually one of the last steps we take when designing a website. It's like icing on the cake. Focus on your site's structure first and foremost - layout, content, functionality, etc. Some of the best sites are devoid of color, but they are well thought out and very usable.


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