You’ve probably heard of the term “color palette”. It’s a tool that has several uses in the creative and digital worlds. At its simplest, it’s a predetermined set of colors that is used in a project – be it a website, a brand identity, or even a film. There are even instances where a color palette is nothing more than an inspiration guide for a project, including getting dressed. If you have ever heard that orange, brown, beige and gray are autumn colors and consequently you have chosen clothes in these colors, then you have created outfits with an autumn color palette. There is a color palette for everything you can imagine: Winter, fall, summer, neon, pastel, green color palettes…. in this article we share with you several pages where you can find pre-set color palettes and generate some yourself, too!
We’ve shared articles on color theory and color tools in the past – including our list of tools to generate color gradients. As we did in that article, we’ll start with a little bit of background on color palettes and some suggestions for practical, design-related uses for the color palettes you’ll be able to generate with the pages we share with you below (for example, generate a beautiful green color palette as inspiration for relaxing and calm interior design!) . Color palettes are powerful tools in creative fields, as they allow designers and artists to communicate effectively, establish a visual identity, and evoke specific emotions or responses from their audience. Practical uses include:
Visual Branding: Color plays a crucial role in establishing brand identity and recognition. Companies often create a color palette that represents their brand values and personality. This palette is used consistently across their logo, website, packaging and marketing materials.
Graphic Design: Designers use color palettes to create visually appealing compositions. By selecting colors that harmonize well with each other, they can enhance the overall aesthetic and convey the desired message. Palettes can evoke different emotions and moods, such as calm, excitement or sophistication.
Web Design: Color palettes are essential for creating attractive and user-friendly websites. They help guide users through different sections, highlight important elements and create a cohesive visual experience. Web designers consider factors such as accessibility, contrast and readability when selecting color palettes for websites.
Interior Design: Color palettes are used in interior design to establish the mood and style of a space. By choosing a specific color scheme, designers can create a cohesive look and feel to a room or an entire architectural project. Different color schemes can evoke different moods and create different effects, such as warm and cozy or cool and contemporary (as we said, a green color palette is always in style and evokes feelings of nature, calm, and relaxation!).
Fashion and textile design: Color palettes are used in the fashion industry to create cohesive collections and designs. Fashion designers select color combinations that reflect the season, trends and desired aesthetic. Textile designers also use color palettes to create patterns and prints for fabrics (if this topic interests you, you can read more about color applied to fashion here).
Art: Artists often use color palettes to establish the mood and atmosphere of their works. They select colors that blend harmoniously and evoke the emotions or impressions they want to convey. Color palettes can be used to create realistic or abstract compositions, and play an important role in setting the overall tone of a painting.
Photography and Cinema: Color palettes in photography and film play a crucial role in conveying emotion, creating mood and enhancing storytelling. This includes elements such as color symbolism and evoking a particular era or location (you can read more about color palettes in film here).
8 free pages to find or create color palettes
Founded by Gal Shir, Color Hunt is an open collection of color palettes. This tool serves thousands of color schemes for many different design and art purposes. The color palettes are used by web developers, artists, illustrators, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers, marketing professionals, etc. What we like is that it shows several color palettes pre-determined by themes (like vintage, neon, summer…) and that when you select a palette, you find the HEX and RGB values of each hue you see. It also has a Chrome extension, which opens a new color palette with each new tab you open in your browser!
Coolors.co is a website that you can use to generate color palettes in a very simple and fun way. All you have to do is press the space bar and you will get a selection of color palettes. If you don’t like the current one, you can press the space bar again and it will give you a new one. The combination possibilities are endless. Each time you generate a new color palette, you can “lock” any of the colors so that they remain fixed while you keep regenerating new ones in the bars you haven’t locked. Another feature we love is the ability to upload a photo and create a palette based on it. There are other advanced tools such as modifying the brightness and saturation of the palette. A paid version is offered (at an absolutely affordable price) that allows you to generate palettes of more than 5 colors, save unlimited collections of palettes, remove advertising, among others.
If you want to generate a color scheme that perfectly matches your favorite images, you can use Canva’s color palette generator. It allows you to create color palettes in seconds from any photo you choose to upload to the tool. Nothing too sophisticated, but interesting and useful.
MyColor.Space is a free tool that creates beautiful color palettes for its users. It is very intuitive for the user and lets you create several color palettes based on one color (although they have just released a new tool that allows you to do it from three colors!) The colors from which the palette is generated can be chosen with an eyedropper in a range of colors, or by entering a HEX value, and the color palettes generated include a generic one, one of matching colors, one with shades of gray similar to the chosen color, among many others.
Colors.muz.li is another site that, although basic, allows you to get varied and unique color palettes. You can start with a color of your choice and the page will generate several palettes around it. You can also enter the HEX value of a color (which seems to us to be a UX failure, since you have to consult the code in an external source, such as this HEX value base), or upload a photo and get a palette based on it.
A brand like Adobe needs no introduction, given its dozens of popular design software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, among others. Adobe Color is a free, online tool that combines colors in a way that works harmoniously. This tool has several features, including a complete color wheel that allows you to see how colors work together in various ways and under various principles of complementary color theory. This color palette tool also allows you to consult other users’ combinations for ideas and inspiration. Another interesting feature is the trends gallery, which allows you to see the palettes that are trending in the design industry. You can also download it for free and use it as software on your computer – and being from Adobe, it allows you to change the color values for digital displays, such as RGB, HSB and LAB.
Khroma is a color tool that uses artificial intelligence and is made for designers. It allows you to quickly find and save color schemes and palettes and with the help of a custom algorithm, Khroma learns which colors users prefer and generates unlimited palettes. It takes a bit of time to start using it (as you have to choose the colors you are interested in for the algorithm to start creating combinations), but it is 100% recommended. What we like most is the way it presents the combined colors – it does it with text against a background, two colors side by side, in color gradients and, clearly, in color palette format.
Colorkuler is a must-have resource for photographers or artists who want to discover the color palette that represents their photographic or aesthetic style. By connecting to your Instagram, you get information about the dominant colors that appear in your feed and create a harmonious color scheme that complements your photography. It’s useful if you spend a lot of time on your aesthetics or if you use your instagram account as a portfolio. The free version generates a color palette based on the last 9 photos in your feed – but there is also a Pro (paid) version which takes the aesthetics of your entire feed and gives you a score of the aesthetics and consistency of your feed. It’s not as useful as the other color palette tools on this list, so we’ve put it last.
Color palettes are very useful and valuable tools for designers, artists and professionals in general. Each one lets you generate a wide variety of color combinations, from classic combinations to more modern and unexpected schemes. The ease of use of these pages will allow you to experiment with different tones and shades, giving you new ideas and inspiration for your projects. Add these pages to your bookmarks – they will be an indispensable resource to enhance your visual projects and achieve aesthetically balanced designs.
If you are looking for free royalty free images, we suggest you visit our gallery of pretty background images courtesy of Pixabay. You will be able to use them for all your projects and even for the pages mentioned here that allow you to upload images to create color palettes from them.