10 Tools for Building the Perfect Color Palettes

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It’s been almost two months since Pantone shocked us with not one, but two colors of the year for 2016. And now it’s time to start creating.

What better way to begin than with a strong color palette? Whether you’re in love with this year’s choices—rose quartz and serenity—or you need a little more inspiration, these online tools are perfect for creating, sharing and inspiring smart and sophisticated color palettes.

1. Adobe Color CC


Probably one of the most well-known palette pickers is the Adobe Color CC. Previously known as Kuler, this Adobe tool allows its users to fine tune their color palettes down to the last HEX. Start your palette with a base color and a rule (analogous, monochromatic or triad just to name a few), and tweak from there. Sign in with your Adobe account to create, try and save your favorite color schemes.

2. COLOURlovers


This is one of my personal favorites. Join and you’re able to create and share color palettes and patterns with other users. Search by community, channel or trend across a slew of categories including wedding, home, fashion, web, print, craft and digital art. Follow other users to keep up with their creations.

COLOURlovers also offers a tool called COPASO—an advanced color palette tool that allows users to save and store colors and palettes and upload images.

3. Paletton


Paletton offers its users the ability to create palettes from HEX and RGB colors. Choose a color and view potential monochromatic, triad, tetrad and adjacent schemes. Once a scheme has been chosen, Paletton offers a number of preset shades and tones for tweaking your palette. Choose from pastels, grays and more. Export your palette with the click of a mouse—whether you need it in text form, HTML, CSS or any other variation.

4. HEX Color Generator (2 Create a Website)


This tool is very easy to use and is great for making basic four-toned color schemes. Very easy to use, just enter a starting HEX color value and there’s your palette. If you don’t know where to start, use the provided color wheel to get some ideas.

5. colormunki


colormunki is an incredibly user-friendly interactive tool. Start with a base of web-friendly colors. Choose swatches to add to your palette and find more colors by clicking through the provided options. While this site doesn’t automatically build your palette, it does offer color suggestions, which gives you more control over the colors you would like to use.

6. Palettr


Palettr is a little different from the previous tools. This site prompts users to search a theme or a place—the results? Beautiful palettes pulled from unique images. A great tool for inspiration.

7. Colrd


Similar to COLOURlovers, Colrd is a community of users who create and share color palettes. Gain inspiration from existing users, or create your own palettes to share with others. The site also allows users to pair images with their palettes to show them in use. Search by color, palette, gradient, pattern or image.

8. Pictaculous


Pictaculous is another great tool for pulling palettes from starting images. Upload a file and the site will provide you with five colors. As an added bonus, the site offers suggestions from Adobe Color CC and COLOURlovers that complement the scheme they provide.

9. Spy Color


Enter a color’s HEX and Spy Color will give you any information you might need. The site offers color conversions to different models (RGB, CMYK, HSL, HSV, etc.) in addition to a number of color schemes (complementary, split complementary, triadic, etc.). Spy Color also offers a “Gradient of the Day,” in case you need a little inspiration to get started.

10. Color Hunter


Color Hunter is perfect especially if you have a starting image from which to work. Enter a tag, a color HEX code or even an image URL to begin searching their database. Color Hunter uses images from Flickr and can be searched using tags from the Flickr API. Create an account to save and share your favorite pal

Now go get creating!

Didn’t see your favorite tool on here? Let us know what we’re missing! Comment below and share your favorites.

Check out MyDesignShop’s selection of Pantone Guides, Sets and more, for all your color needs: