Colour-matching…the easy way!

March 09, 2015


Design purists, block your ears! This won’t be a lesson on colour wheel theory, or what analogous colours are. This is a "where-to-go-to" for those who need maximum colour impact in minimum time, and are happy to use a website (or book) rather than a wheel.

We humans seem to have a visceral ability to know when colours either match, or don’t, but given the task of putting together a whole colour palette, we tend to falter. Fortunately, thanks to some clever programmers and hordes of colour-junkies, plenty of others have done the hard work for us. We now have an amazing range of FREE web-based colour-matching tools to draw inspiration from. Here are some options:

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Web-based colour matching

Colour Lovers: colour trends, patterns and palettes

ColorBlender: input one RGB colour value and a 6-colour palette will be generated.

Color Scheme Designer: input one colour value and a range of colour-wheel palettes will be generated.

Adobe Color CC (formerly Kuler): input a colour value, or upload a photo (text link at base of page) to generate a colour palette.

Resene Colour Palette Generator: upload a photo to generate a colour palette and a Resene paint selection.

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Colour names and their hex values

Colors on the Web

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Colour matching books

Color Index: by Jim Krause. Revised edition 2010. Over 1100 color combinations with updated RGB formulas and downloadable digital swatches.

Color Index 2: by Jim Krause. 2007. Over 1500 color combination for print and web. CMYK and RGB formulas.

Color Inspirations: More than 3,000 innovative palettes from the Colourlovers.com community (see website above). by Darius A. Monsef IV

Color Harmony Compendium: by Terry Marks, MINE, Origin and Tina Sutton. 2009. A selection of content from the entire Color Harmony library. 25h Anniversary Edition.

The Complete Color Harmony: by Bride M Whelan and Tina Sutton. 2004. Part of the Color Harmony series.

The Complete Color Harmony Workbook: by Kiki Eldridge. 2007.

Color Harmony: by Hideako Chijiiwa. 1987. The original Color Harmony book in the series.

Color Harmony 2: by Bride M. Whelan. 1994. Book 2 in the series.

Color Harmony Naturals: by Martha Gill. 2000.

Color Harmony Jewels: by Martha Gill. 2000.

Color Harmony Pastels: by Martha Gill. 2000.

2000 Color Combinations: for Graphic, Textile and Craft Designers: by Garth Lewis. 2009.

A Designer's Guide to Color Combinations: by Leslie Cabarga. 1999. Colour palettes taken off actual design work from the past century.

A Designer's Guide to Global Color Combinations: by Leslie Cabarga. 2001. Colour palettes from original designs from around the world.

Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: by Leatrice Eisemann. 2000.

 

This blog post first appeared on the Design Assembly website | 9 March 2015.

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