One of the most important considerations when it comes to crafting a unique and recognizable web design theme is color. Choosing the right color palette can mean the difference between a successful website and an also-ran. When visitors take their first glance at your theme, the colors you choose instantly send a subconscious message to them about your page. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you choose the right scheme. Here are five of the best color tools available to web designers today.
Brought to you by the fine folks at Adobe, Kuler has long been a favorite tool amongst professional web designers. It adds a Social Media and Networking factor to color scheme generation that other tools lack. To participate, you need an Adobe login ID. Once you’ve signed up, you can create color palettes and share them with other designers. You can also check out other designers’ color schemes and modify them to suit your needs. Colors are displayed in a variety of formats, including RGB, CMYK, LAB and HSV values.
Inspiration can come from unexpected places. Sometimes, a particularly fetching photograph you stumble across on the web gives you the perfect idea for a color scheme. The Color Palette Generator allows you to upload a picture in either the JPG or PNG format and get a detailed breakdown of the dominant colors included. Regardless of what kind of reaction you’re trying evoke from your visitors, the Color Palette Generator gives you the ability to create a unique look for any website.
Individual colors don’t exist in a vacuum, and oftentimes the impact of a particular hue has a lot to do with the other colors you put them next to. Contrast-A takes a highly technical approach to palette configuration by giving you detailed data on things like Luminance Ratio and the Difference between Brightness and Color. It’s the perfect tool to use when you need to create a minimalist website with only a few different shades and each one has to complement the other perfectly.
A popular Firefox plugin, ColorZilla gives designers an easy, browser-based tool to find specific color values and measure differences between them. It also features a “color scheme browser” which allows you to choose colors from pre-configured sets. Both easy to use and extremely feature-rich, ColorZilla is the Swiss Army Knife of browser addons for web designers and graphic artists.
Unlike most other “color wheel” type scheme generators, Colorotate adds a unique twist by displaying the rainbow on a twirling 3D cone. As with Kuler, users can save and edit their own color schemes as well as look at other color patterns submitted by different designers. It integrates well with popular design tools like Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop, and allows you to view your color schemes from an entirely different angle.
Though intuitive user interfaces and layouts are important when it comes to effective web design, color schemes are just as important if not more so. These tools should point you in the right direction when it comes to making the color palette of any website perfect on the first try. There are plenty more just like them available online, but these should tide you over until you assemble the perfect arsenal of web design tools to fit your personal style. Good luck, and happy designing.
Author Bio: This was a guest post by John for web design Brighton agency Bright Site.