If you like playing around with colors, and hey, who doesn’t?–then here’s four iPhone apps for your color pleasure. As I’m a cheapskate and definitely feeling the pinch post-Christmas, this list is in ascending price order, starting from $0 – always a good price this time of year.

1. Saturation (Free)


Experiment with the color themes created by the Adobe Kuler community. Saturation turns them into an interactive light show so you can see how the colors play off each other. Tap and drag your finger to make the colors move in new ways. You can get color values in Hex and RGB and play around with them using the visualizers.

2. Color Stream ($2.99)

Color Stream lets you create and store color palettes, that are either created from scratch, or generated from a photo, or even auto-generated using our built-in color schemer which supports analogous, monochromatic, triadic, and more. You can save multiple color palettes, name them, and rate them, put them in a photo library or email to friends. You don’t have to be connected to the web to use it either, handy for any type of designer.


3. Palettes Pro ($7.99 | Free Lite Version)


This app is available as a free “Lite” version and a Pro version for $7.99. The app is a tool for creating and maintaining color palettes and color schemes. You can grab colors from a photograph, a website, or add colors using any one of five color models (RGB, HSV (HSB), HSL, CMYK, or Gray scale). With the pro version you can create and store any number of palettes, the lite version is limited, but you can upgrade easily if you want to.

4. Color Expert ($9.99)


Color Expert is an app to help artists and designers find color swatches and palettes. Multiple color schemes include Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary and Triadic. You search through Pantone solid coated, Pantone solid uncoated, Pantone Goe coated, Pantone Goe uncoated, Web safe colors and HTML colors. This seems to be the only app which has a license to use Pantone colors which are important for graphic designers. This is the most expensive color app in the list and also the most complicated, but if you’re working with print as well as web, you may find it very useful.

Have you used any of these apps? Did you find them useful?

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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