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:
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.
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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Research activities are typically initiated and conducted by your client, as part of their marketing remit. However, there is another type of research that is advertising-specific and is more likely to be initiated (or at least recommended) by your agency rather than by your client. The two main areas of research that an agency would get involved with are ‘pre-testing’ and ‘post-testing’.
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