Purple reign Explore and choose color palettes with Adobe kuler

Posted by tom klein July 22, 2008

Not everyone was born with the color selection gene. But that doesn’t have to be a barrier to developing something with great visual appeal.

Color selection can be made much easier with kuler, a web-based tool for creating harmonious color palettes from Adobe Labs. Users can experiment with a rainbow of colors, perfect the combinations, and share them with the kuler community for feedback. And you don’t have to be a digital Picasso to use this application.

To create a theme, access the main marker on the color wheel and rotate like clock hands to set the base of your color scheme. The application will adjust the secondary arms to to harmonize with your color selection based on the governing palette rules (you can set to monochromatic, complementary, shades, etc). To customize your palette, move the secondary arms to a desired location on the wheel or manipulate the actual color values (RGB, CMYK), the hue saturation (HSV), or html code value (HEX). You can import images using the Flickr feature and grab values directly from the picture.

Once your palette is complete, title and tag it, so that palette is searchable, and save. If you choose, kuler will publish your palette; community members can browse the library, rank individual palettes, or draw inspiration from each other’s offerings. To use your palette (or any other public palette) in a design application, open it in an Adobe CS3 software or just the grab the HEX codes.

With minimal effort (and expertise) you can design a one-of-kind color theme. Inspiration is endless and the application is free, so give it a whirl.

Anyone can enjoy kuler, but the application is undoubtedly geared towards the creative community. Graphic artists and designers who crave eye candy should sign-up for the kuler RSS feed or download the Mac dashboard widget to receive the top-rated color palettes every day.

A great place to start when you're choosing colors for a website or just about anything is your brand identity. Brand icons are usually adamant about having just the right color, from Chanel's "Coco beige" to Yahoo! purple. You can use this tool to explore what colors work well with your existing identity . . . while staying out of visual trouble.

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  1. [...] are offered up daily. COLOURlovers is similar to Adobe’s kuler (which we discussed in Purple Reign) but with social components. Users can post and rank colors and palettes, answer design dilemmas [...] Drive design-based marketing with help from COLOURlovers | feed growth! posted on

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