Color Design Tools

There are three types of color sites that are of definite interest to photographers and graphic designers.

Color Theory sites:

Causes of Color takes a novel view of color theory in very memorable fashion. Color is made [additive theory], lost [subtractive color theory], and and moved [color transformation]. Cause of Color explores many natural phenomena associated with color perception including color blindness and illusions. This is a well designed website using color with savvy.
Color Matters makes the pun and runs with it with a site filled with all the aspects of color and color theory. Some of this material is what you will see in your Color class – but large portions of the site are unique and very informative about the sociology and play of color in all aspects of life.
Color Physics provides the science background of color and light. Hang onto this site for its insights on how media and technology shape color.
Color Systems provides a wealth of history and knowledge about color. Going back to Greek philosopy to the discoveries of Newton and Leonardo to modern science and art – often moving in parallel but not necessarily mutually acknowledged synchrony. Absolutely fascinating.
Color Worqx is a very rich and lavishly illustrated intro to every aspect of color theory. If you get stuck elsewhere come here from a different point of view. Be sure to try Peter Piper’s Palette Picker.
Color Arts takes a look at color in arts and ideas. It provides a history of how alternately science and then arts stimulated the development and use of colors. Ihav e launched you into the middle of things, so explore the menus and tabs. This is another must see website for anyone interested in color.

Color Wheel sites:

Color Scheme Designer is one of the best online Color Wheels for richness of options and refinement of display. Click on the above link to go directly to the designer.
Adobe’s Kuleris is another top notch color wheel with many drag and drop handles. Kuler has 6 color schemes to choose hues from: analogous, complements, custom, monochromatic, shades, triad, and custom. Be sure to try Kuler’s very nifty Create from Image.
Colors Jack is a very dynamic color wheel with all the important controls at your mouse tip along the top of the webpage. Also just click and drag any of the dots on the color wheel for dynamic changes to your evolving palette. ColorJack has some great tools, a Color Blend Studio for designers and a great set of scripts for for developers.
COPASO is the colorwheel available on the very popular ColourLovers website. The site is like ColorMatters but has many more actual tools to create and compare color schemes and palettes. Also users who register [it is free] can save the palettes on the website for later refinement or use. Also ColourLovers is a fun place to be – comparing palette choices and color ideas with others.

ColoROTATE provokes a lot of reactions – one colleague asked “Why did I save the best for last?”. Perhaps it is because of the novelty of the Color Crystal and getting used to navigating and manipulating around. Like Adobe’s Kuler, there are some novel ways of selecting color schemes with ColoROTATE. And the tool is available as a Photoshop CS4 plugin for $40.

Color Extraction from Images sites:

Colr.org is one of the best online Color Chooser from images. The operation is a bit tricky. First, click on New Scheme button. Then click on the + sign just below to add your first color to your scheme from the images below. Be sure to click on the + sign again to add another color to your scheme.If you click on the Color Images tab you can Load Your Own images or URL to choose colors from. Be sure to try the other Colr buttons!
ColourLovers PhotoCOPAis a tool to find the key colors within an image or URL page. What is neat is the many way an images color palette can be manipulated in PhotoCOPA. This is another great ColourLovers.com tool.
Color Hunter provides a quick and easy way to derive a color palette from an existing URL or uploaded image. But as in most of the other tools it does not tell how the colors for the palette were selected. However, Color Hunter provides a Hunch dialog that shows variations on the basic palette derived from your image.
CSSDrive has a color palette extractor similar to Color Hunter demoed just above. Again it is easy to provide a local image file or a online URL for an image [right mouse click and then select image URL from the popup menu]. CSSDrive provides a light, medium and dark palette. User can also save their palettes as a .CSS file or a .ACO Photoshop swatch file.
GenoPal Pic2Color provides a nifty widget for grabbing a local image file or URL picture and then showing a palette of colors picked from the widget. Users can copy this widget and embed it on their website if they want.
ColorMunki strictly speaking is a color picker with palettes derived from a wide selection of predetermined pictures. But ColorMunki allows users to create palettes from the Munsell or Pantone color systems in such an effective way it had to be included here.
ColorExplorer provides a rich tool for exploring either URL or local image file colors. The trick is to get your image or Web page linked into Color Explorer – that is why we start on that page. Once your image is in [note it must be less than 250KB in size] there are many tabs worth trying including Color Picker, Color Matching, plus Analysis & Conversion. Enjoy!

If you have a favorite color source site – please let us know and it shall be featured on thePhotoFinishes.

2 comments for “Color Design Tools

  1. akram khan
    June 14, 2012 at 4:25 am

    very beautiful very nice

  2. May 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Regards for helping out, superb information. gddaekabdbedgfek

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