I used to work with someone who would joke about how he wouldn’t know a good color palette if it hit him in the face. (Actually, like a lot of people, he could tell you if a color palette didn’t “work” for a particular site, but didn’t know how to pick a good one.) At the time, I didn’t really know how to explain to him how I picked colors for my site designs; the process was mostly intuition and experimentation.

But now, there are a lot of online tools that help those who are color-palette-impaired (and even those who aren’t!) to come up with a few colors that work together. Here are some that I like:

1. http://www.pixy.cz/apps/barvy/index-en.html
This extremely cool tool allows you to pick different colors to start with, define your color scheme (monochromatic, complementary, and more), and adjust as needed. One of the coolest parts of this site is that it takes into account various forms of colorblindness, and even allows you to “preview” your color scheme as if you were colorblind.

2. http://www.colormatch.dk/
This tool is nice and simplistic, ideal for “quick fixes” or ideas. Pick a color, and a color palette is generated for you — no need to figure out if it “works” or not!

3. http://slayeroffice.com/tools/color_palette/
This tool allows you to pick a color, then “blends” it with two other colors to produce a gamut of hues to choose from.

(Any other good ones? Found this helpful? Post a comment!)

Corrie is the lead designer and developer for PixelMill and their in-house brand, jgtemplates. This would-be triathlete has a mathematics degree but wishes she had double-majored in computer science and art instead. Maybe next time...

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