GeekFinder: Color Matters

UPDATE: So, I just came across this recent post with another great tool. Here he talks about Kuler, an adobe online tool that’s a palette picker and browser of other’s color combo’s (web2.0 style with highest rated/most popular/newest lists). The picker is pretty sweet, I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet and don’t quite understand everything it’s doing there’s fanciness with hue and saturation and “distance” (for lack of a better word on my part) between colors. There’s a bunch to check out here and it’s worth the time upgrading to flash9.

UPDATE2: I found this flash app that gives you a primer on color theory (courtesy mikelevicus). It’s pretty interesting – there’s a lot of thought that goes into colors, thoughts that I don’t as yet have. Maybe one day I’ll be better at picking colors.

In the course of working in the web I am occassionally and, more often than not, disastrously called upon to design certain pages. Generally minor sections or admin pages. One of the things that can be difficult is choosing colors – sometimes I can crib from other colors that have been used, but sometimes new colors are called for and this can be a real pain. For awhile I’ve been using an online service that presents you with a color wheel and let’s you mouse around it, showing you three options – web-safe, web-smart and unsafe. If you click on the wheel it sticks your color in a tower of swatches with the web-smart version of the color you want. This makes it really easy to select a bunch of colors and see how they look next to each other. In the immortal words of C-3PO, “Wonderful!”

That was a good find and I’ve been using it for awhile. I, more recently, have come across a little OS X extension – Shades. This is a little commercial app that adds a new pane to the standard Apple Color Picker. Here, you select a central color, a step size and an axis to hold constant (hue, saturation or brightness) and it provides you with a selection of colors that surround your original color. It’s a super easy way to pull a bunch of related colors for your web enjoyment. It has a couple more usage features that help you view the colors and it’s well worth the $15 if you find yourself needing to look for nice colors.

A mild itch, well scratched.

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