We all need a little help in the color department from time to time… it’s usually the most challenging part of design for me. Color is so important. It effects the mood of your piece, it can make or break a great design…. and nothing can make a collection off trend or on trend quicker than color. It the first thing a customer will notice about a piece…. and it’a usually an immediate reaction.
So you really have to get it right….. no pressure!
Of course, the best way to approach color is to spend time and really play around with it…. but mostly have fun! It will really come across in your piece.
Below, I’ve brought together some of my favorite color websites, both technical and just for inspiration. If you have any sites you like, please feel free to add in the comments…. I’m always looking for new sites and sources of inspiration!
Here’s a fun place to start, called Design Seeds. The creator has taken really beautiful pictures and pulled some of the main colors out for you. A lot of these palettes come from nature, so they’re usually very gorgeous. I have found that when I use these, I do have to add a few contrasting colors for pop…. but it’s a great place to start.
Next I’ll show you a more technical site that I use all the time. I learned about this very helpful site from the art director at the fabric company I license with (thank you Shannon!). I don’t know what it’s called…. but here is the address: http://www.perbang.dk
Here’s how I use it:
I will usually start out in Illustrator with the swatch I want to use.
Double click the swatch in the toolbar. Now command copy the hex number (the bottom box). See arrow below.
You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be able to find all kinds of conversions for your color swatch.
I’ll usually start with a PMS color swatch, which I double check with my swatch book to make sure the color is right.
Once you have your PMS color, you can scroll down a little and get your TPX colors too.
Congrats! Now that you made it through the technical stuff, I’ll give you some fun time! I don’t know how helpful this site is, but it’s pretty interesting: http://color.hailpixel.com
You just move your curser around and scroll and the color changes on your screen and gives you the hex number.
Sometimes the COLOURlovers site is helpful. Sometimes it’s not. But if you need some color inspiration, it can be a fun place to start. http://www.colourlovers.com
Another great place to get color inspiration are apparel catalogs. They are usually very on trend or even ahead of trend with color, so fashion is a great place to start.
Magazine covers, too. Something styled really well that you like can be a great place to start. Here is a magazine cover that has a great color palette. (The original looks much better, but you get the idea.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed the post today and I hope it was helpful! Thanks for reading.