Where I find color palette inspiration
We all know Pantone, the leaders in color trends, so this was an obvious pick. But I recently found out about Pantone Connect. A website, along with a mobile app, to help you create color palettes by working with premade or creating your own. The benefit of using the app is the ability to take a photo and extract colors right from there! And if you are also a nerd about color theory, they have a cool option to “analyze” the palette.
Coolors is probably the most popular palette generator right now. Like Pantone Connect, you can make your own, explore premade palettes or upload a photo to extract colors. One useful function is the Color Contrast Checker. You enter your background color and text color and it will give you a grade on how accessible the combination is.
This site is similar to Pinterest except there is an emphasis on color! When you click on a photo you like on Designspiration, it will show you a coordinating color palette. From there you can either select all of the colors or a specific color to see other images that coordinate. Um, hello easy mood board creation!
While this might look like another color palette generator, there’s one feature that Muzli Colors has saved me plenty of time on UI Design projects. It’s no different in showing you trending palettes, but click on one and you’ll see “Live UI Demo Kit.” With two options, you can download UI components or a whole dashboard using the color palette. The two options also show you how the palette could be used on Light versus Dark themes.
So this one is not like the others. While it’s great to have computers generate palettes for you, I think finding inspiration outside of the computer is equally as important. While Wes Anderson has always been a source of inspiration for me, he doesn’t have to be yours. But find a creative you admire and study their work. One benefit to this is being able to see colors used in real life. You aren’t only looking at blocks of colors; you’re seing them used in compositions, seeing the balance and distribution of color.
My favorite thing to come out of 2020 is Wally Koval’s Accidentally Wes Anderson. I keep it out on my coffee table (because every part of this book makes me swoon) and use my Pantone Connect app to pull out colors. Also, this interactive map is way too much fun.