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10 Tools to Help You Design a Color Palette

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Designing a Color Palette? Check out these 10 tools to get you started.

Building a color palette is one of the first steps to making an appealing design or illustration. Color palettes are the foundation of a brand, give your artwork a cohesive look, and make any design more aesthetically pleasing. The right color palette can take a piece from good to great. So what tools do you need to create one of your own?

Color palettes can be confusing, and sometimes it's hard to know where to start. There are a boatload of tools to help you with color palettes, so you don't have to start from scratch. You can start with a color you love, an image or photo that makes you smile, or even a randomized palette. 

Bookmark this page, because you’re going to be coming back here A LOT. These are some of our favorite color tools:


Top 10 Tools for Designing a Color Palette

Coolors

At Coolors, you can browse, create, refine, save, export palettes. This is one of our go to tools. We love that we can have our own collection of palettes to pull from where we can easily copy the values in hex, rgb, hsv, etc. The export options are numerous and include code, svg, image, and css among others.

Paletton

No, not the exercise bike. This is Paletton, one of our top recommendations for students entering Design Bootcamp. You can randomize a palette using color similarity and style likeness. The really impressive thing here is all the preview options. You can preview your palettes in a web page, various sample artwork layouts, and even some animated layouts.

Adobe Color

Adobe Color is available online, and there are mobile and iOS versions as well. This one is probably the easiest to use with Adobe tools, because it's built into the apps and links with your Adobe CC library. The trends page is great for exploring what is currently being done with color in games, graphics design, fashion, and other creative fields.

Muzli’s Colors

Muzli’s Colors is a color palette generator. You can create and edit palettes, preview palettes, and color match. You can even download UI kits for palettes. Or just upload an image and let Muzli show you the colors already inside. 

Color Designer

Color Designer is a great set of color tools including palettes from images, a color miser, gradients generator, conversion tools, and more. The UI does feature a TON of banner ads, but the content underneath is worth the effort. 

Canva

If you are a Canva user, this wheel integrates with other Canva tools allowing you to easily create graphics in your created palettes. You can also export palettes for use in other tools. Canva also includes explanations of each type of palette and where and when you might want to use them, which can be helpful for designers—especially beginners.

Colourcode

Colourcode palette builder is a unique and intuitive UI. You can adjust your palette by moving your cursor around the screen. This allows you to discover new and interesting combinations, and you can use the dials on the left to adjust further. Definitely wins a fun award. 

Color Inspire

Ever wished you could have curated palettes from a talented artist? Look no further. Ales Nesetril has been sharing unique color combinations to his Instagram for quite a while now, and he’s collected all his weekly inspirations into a single page. Check for new updates and color patterns whenever you need a burst of inspiration.

Pigment, by Shape Factory

Pigment generates color palettes based on lighting and pigment, rather than the traditional mathy methods that most palette tools use. If you’re like us—always trying to keep math out of the equation—then this is a great site to explore. 

Arts Experiment by Google

Google’s palette generator creates new selections from images. You can take any photo and generate palettes. Google will then show you artwork that uses that same palette. It can be really interesting to see the different way color palettes look in different mediums. Whether you use this in your own work or not, it's a really fun rabbit hole to explore.

Bonus Tools for Creating Color Palettes

While we did curate our list to the tools that best enable your palette selection, these four options deserve honorable mention.

Colorable

Use Colorable as a random color pair generator and contrast evaluation tool.

Blend

Blend allows you to create, blend, and preview gradients from different colors.

Chrome extensions for Color Palettes

ColorZilla

Use this extension to pick colors from browser window

Palette Creator

Palette Creator—you guessed it—creates palettes from images in browser window


Now you understand color, but do you know design?

Building a strong color palette is one step in creating beautiful art and animation, but everything still relies on strong design principles. These foundational elements are a part of every picture, video, and art project you’ve ever seen…so how well do you know them? That’s why we’ve developed Design Bootcamp!

Design Bootcamp shows you how to put design knowledge into practice through several real-world client jobs. You’ll create style frames and storyboards while watching typography, composition, and color theory lessons in a challenging, social environment.