Let’s talk about one of the first aspects that catches the eye in design: color! Selecting the right color scheme can simply add the desired effect to your designs. However, sometimes it takes a long time to find the perfect colors among the endless possibilities. Hours may pass by trying different color combinations, adjusting hues, tweaking brightness and so on… For a more efficient use of time, every designer should have several favorite color tools up their sleeves. Here, in this article, I have gathered 10 free color tools online which are absolutely the best in terms of both user interface and the features they offer.
Khroma uses an AI algorithm that can learn your favorite colors and then generate personalized color combinations to match your preferences. On your first visit to Khroma, you will be asked to choose 50 color shades that you prefer amongst a wide range of colors. First visit to the site takes a bit of time, but it is definitely worth it. Once you’ve finished picking colors, the Khroma’s machine learning algorithm will generate your personalized color combinations represented in five different ways: text on a colored background, color blocks, gradient, two-toned photographs and lastly, a palette consisting of four colors. User experience is similar to Pinterest, Khroma offers endless color combinations to scroll through, tailored to your taste.
Pigment is a great tool for designers who love exploring new color combinations. It is very useful for discovering multiple color combinations that work together harmoniously by changing the intensity of the pigment and lighting. When you choose one of the combos by clicking, it gives you the HEX code, RGB and Pantone equivalents of the color, it is always great to have variety of options. After you choose your combo, you can try different shades of colors or turn them into gradients. I highly recommend this website to anyone who likes to experiment with color.
Coolors may be the easiest way to build color palettes of your choice. When you first open the website, you are welcomed by randomly generated palette of five colors. Simply pressing the spacebar of your keyboard, you can explore endless color combinations. It is practical to start with a color you like, lock them into your screen by using the options on the color, and then build your palette upon that. Once you find a color combination you can find similar shades of the same color, drag the colors elsewhere to rearrange your palette, adjust them by hue, saturation and brightness etc. from the options. It is one of my personal favorites.
Color Space is amazing for creating color palettes based on a specific color. If you have a color that you want to base your color palette around – it could be a brand color or a shade that you really want to use in your design- Color Space should be your go-to website. Enter your hue of choice using its RGB values, hex code or create it on the color wheel, and then click ‘Generate.’ The website will instantly produce a wide range of color palettes matching your color of choice to select from.
Happy Hues is a color palette inspiration website with an adorable interface that acts as a real-world example of how the colors could be used in your designs. There are pre-made color palettes available in the left column you can simply click on and voila, the website itself changes into the selected color theme. The creator of the Happy Hues, Mackenzie Child points out that the site not only gives you color palette inspiration, but shows you, in a real example, how you could use the colors for your backgrounds, headline, illustrations, etc.
Picular color search tool allows you to transform any word into a color! It will return a large number of options from searching Google images related to the given query. For example, by entering the word “spring” on Picular, the result will be the first 20 Google images turned into the dominant color of each image. This is an amazing tool for easily finding a series of colors based on a concept or idea for a design project. By looking for the keyword that you have in mind for your project, you can then consult what Google associates with your idea and get a series of associated colors useful for creating an effective palette.
If you want to use cool gradients and use them now, then Mesh Gradient is the site for you. Mesh Gradient offers a free, premade cool-looking gradients that you can use in your next design. There are 100 beautiful color meshes which you can download in .ai, .png, .jpg, .eps formats.
Grabient is another great gradient tool with a limited number of gradients offered, for now there are 25 options. In Grabient you can adjust the angle, add colors and such to customize your gradients on the spot. The gradient collection of Grabient is so well thought and if you don’t like to scroll endlessly to find the right one, Grabient is easier to use in your projects.
Developers of Color Wise thought that it could be very useful if there was a way to map the most used colors on a specific product category (ex: Healthcare, Transportation, etc.) So, they extract colors from the products featured on the website Project Hunt to create colorwise.io. This website would be very useful when a designer is starting a new project and looking for the best colors in a specific niche/topic.
Scheme Color might be the most to-the-point color tool in this list. You can scroll through limitless pre-made themed color palettes such as “earth wedding” or “pop art page” to find the perfect one for your project. It’s easy to use and it’s hard not to be inspired by the beautiful color collection.
So, which one do you plan to use in your next project, which are your favorite color tools to use? Have you discovered a new color tool on this list? Or did you know them all? Do you want a Part 2? Please let me know in the comments. I hope these resources will help you find the perfect color ideas for your next project!