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Piece Together Your Own Palette

I think a well crafted color palette is one of the most relaxing and beautiful things to look at. Seeing each swatch sit so peacefully next to each other, like a bunch of old friends coming together for a well needed dinner party. And then, when effectively distributed in a poster, web page or info-graphic, it immediately turns a good design to a great one. Even if the content does not match the mood of the palette, its hard to fully write it off as badly designed because the colors that radiate just make so much sense together. I have always turned to books for great palettes but after reading Creating Your Own Color Palette, I learned that this is something I could create! Like a beautiful song, plucking notes from other songs, finding bits of color from photographs and matching them together. Using the monochromatic, analogous, complimentary, split complimentary, triadic, and double complimentary (tetradic) rules, piecing together your own awesome palette is actually plausible. The article featured above lead me to Adobe Kuler, a gold mine for palette making. All you need is your Adobe ID which you got if you’ve ever purchases an Adobe design suite. Kuler allows you to take some of their default photographs and select drops of color to formulate your own palette or to just inspire you.


  1. i_like_cats wrote:

    What a nicely written post! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve written. A good color palette gives me direction and inspiration. Kuler is usually where I search for some that may be related to the theme I am working on. I love that it is an add on on Illustrator so that I can add the color palette right onto my swatch board. So easy and so fun!

    Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
  2. Iris Guevara wrote:

    This sounds pretty cool! I definitely love the Kuler tool and this sounds like a great additional aid but does it allow you to enter your own photo? The Kuler tool is so easy to use that I don’t see myself using the create your own palette that often over just popping in a keyword into the Kuler search. This is definitely great info though for those days I am really stuck on what palette to use, thanks!

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  3. Lia DiValentin wrote:

    I am definitely a kuler addict and am a firm believer that a color palette can make or break even the best designs. While I usually rely on kuler to create a color palatte from an image that i am using in my design, I often find it frustrating that it only generates 5 colors. So, i researched it and figured out that you can actually do the same thing in Photoshop. Just open the image that you want to sample from and go to Image>Mode>Index Color. This will bring up a pop up menu that lets you chose how many colors to sample from the image. After deciding on the amount go back Image>Color Table. and save the palette to your desktop.Then when you want to use this palatte load the swatches in the color menu.
    heres another link for detailed directions…

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink