Free Tools to Help With Color Theming a Website
Everyone knows that color is an incredibly powerful tool for sending the right message to your audience. The last thing you want your website to do is alienate readers because of the color scheme you used. Specific shades and hues can often carry personal or even cultural meanings that need to be considered before implementing them on your site.
My last article focused on the different connotations that colors can carry and goes into more depth on various impressions you might make with the right or wrong scheme. And while finding the right presentation, tint, and shade is important, it’s not always easy without the right tools. So I decided to follow up and provide a few websites that might spark your imagination and help you get started on finding the perfect color theme.
Tools that will inspire you
COLOURlovers calls itself “a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns.” It’s a great place to test color schemes and get feedback from an international audience. See what inspires members who fit your target audience to ensure that you are staying on trend. Nothing strikes the wrong chord than seeming outdated before your time, so keep your palette fresh and relevant.
Shutterstock Spectrum is a really great tool for finding inspiration in everyday objects. This site allows you to pick any color on their spectrum and type in a key word, and then produces countless images that combine the two elements you’ve chosen. It also allows for real-time image generation by letting you drag indicator across the spectrum, producing images that fit your keyword in the new color. The oddest combinations won’t stump this site, so let your imagination run wild and see what it comes up with.
Designspiration provides another way to see how well different colors will work together. Choose up to five colors from their chart and just press enter to see how others have used the combination in their work. Photography, graphic design, animation, all different types of artwork are represented on this site. Post your own palette and see what others think of your combination, or search existing portfolios to see some of the latest trends.
Hoping to help create and share color with the world, ColRD allows members to search schemes by color, palette, pattern or image. Similar to Pinterest, this site lets you set up a profile and build your portfolio by creating your own palettes or searching and saving ones by other artists. It’s a great way to see how popular your color schemes are and the types of people they may attract.
Color Wizard lets the viewer submit a base color and then generates additional matching colors. You can choose different variations by hue, tint, saturation or shade. You can also choose what type of color scheme you want, for instance complementary and analogous, and see how even the slightest change can impact your choice.
As I’ve stressed before, you should give serious consideration to the impact your color scheme might have on audiences before implementing it on your site. The combination you use sends an instant message and could carry connotations that you’d never thought of.
The wrong color palette won’t necessarily guarantee the failure of your site, but it’s always a good idea to do your research and test out your ideas to see how your target audience perceives them. Just make sure that the colors you choose really work to reflect your brand and help your audience instantly recognize you and what your brand stands for.