There are so many color tools out there these days that it can be hard to find the right tools when you need them. I’ve put together this list of some of the best palette generator and color tools that I could find. You’ll find several that are kinda dated, but still really handy and you’ll also find some new ones (Adobe’s Kuler tool is pretty fantastic!) Here are 15 tools that every graphic designer, web designer, or anyone working with color should experiment with and use. They’ll make your life easier! Feel free to bookmark this page for your own future reference. It’s not going anywhere.
What it is: Color Scheme Designer is a beautifully designed full function color tool that is, shockingly, totally free. You can play with colors and hues, see mock ups of what they would look like on a sample website, and also see other color palettes that relate to your colors. CSD was developed by Petr Stanicek, a UI developer in the Czech Republic and is donation based. If you love it, throw him a dollar or two.
Site: What’s Its Color?
What it is: Whats Its Color is an image-color processing utility that will evaluate an image and give you the image’s primary and complementary dominant colors of an image, how many visually unique colors are in an image, and the top ten visually unique colors in an image. The results are given in HEX and an actual color swatch. On top of that, it has a tie into Adobe’s Kuler Tool (which I’ll get to in a minute!)
Site: Color Blender
What it is: Color blender is a nice and simple palette design and palette generation tool that allows you to select your basics and then generate several different variations on it. Download the results as an Adobe Color Table or as a .EPS file (and you can have them emailed to you for free!)
Site:CssDrive Image Palette
What it is: Another simple image color processing tool. Select the URL of your image or upload one to be analyzed and a color palette is given in both short and long form. Minor downer – they misspelled palette incorrectly on the top logo. Oops!
Site: Color Combos
What it is: A palette generator with a twist. This tool is great if you are having trouble developing a concept or a palette for a client that has no idea what they want. Also, if you’re an interior designer and need to develop complimentary colors, this could be a good tool to play with.
Site: DeGraeve Color Palette Designer
What it is: Another image analysis and palette generation utility that has been around for quite a while. Once you have a palette, you’re also given a set of ‘more vibrant’ color options.
What it is: A different twist on palette generation. Upload an image and have the colors analyzed or enter a hex color and see what images and color palettes are in their database. Also great for breaking designers block.
Site: Ideo Color Visualizer
What it is: One of the best Hex based color visualizers available. It’s very very simple and allows you to see a huge grid of colors in HEX form (like #FFFFFF). Click the color and you’ll see the color set as the background image on the page. This one has also been around for a very long time.
Site: Adobe Labs Kuler Tools
What it is: From Adobe Labs, Kuler is a fantastic tool for developing palettes (especially if you have a rough idea and need direction.) As an added bonus, you can set up a color palette, save it, name it, and share it with others. It’s a great way to also explore tons of other submissions with names like ‘Peachy Office Sweet’ and ‘In Paradisium.’ It’s loads of fun and incredibly handy.
Site: Triplecode Munsell Color Generator
What it is: A very cool color tool from software maker Triplecode that was started by former MIT student David Munsell. Explaining what it does would take forever; however, there are an excellent set of instructions on the site and once you get the hang of it, it can be a great tool for exploring the relationships between colors.
Site: Color Tools Random Color Generator
What it is: Another great random color generator. This one will give you four web safe colors and four non-web safe colors. This tool is best when used with other tools listed here by copying and pasting the HEX values from it into another palette generator.
Site: Colors On The Web Color Wizard
What it is: A very detailed color palette generator. Submit your color and it’ll give you tons of other colors that relate to it (it’s also fun on randomize mode).
Site: Daily Color Scheme
What it is: Just like the title says, this site has a new color palette generated daily. It’s simple, easy to use and also gives you the colors in HEX, RGB, and HSB.
What it is: Another very simple and nicely laid out image color palette analyzer. This one ties into both ColourLovers and Adobe’s Kuler API, so you’ll get tons of different options.
What it is: Much like color scheme generator, this tool will let you select a color or generate a random one and see how it looks on a sample website. It’s down and dirty, but totally gets the job done.