Picking the Perfect Color Palette

By LaurenMarie

Do you ever struggle to find those elusive perfect colors for a graphic design project? What do you do?

There are many color theming sites out there, like Adobe Kuler and Colour Lovers, but not all of the themes people put together actually work with a real project and there are a lot to dig through.

Are there any “old reliable” color themes you always go back to?

I have this collection of colors that I usually fall back on if I can’t think of anything.

Old Reliable 15

I’ll pick anywhere from three to seven of the colors to work with from the above palette. They all go really well together. I used this to pick colors for my portfolio site.

I also really like the Chili’s menu, particularly the photos of the drinks from their specialty menu. They are so vibrant!

Chili's Color Palette

As much as I think the term “Web 2.0″ is silly, I do like the style, so long as it’s not over the top (*ducks*). I find it handy to have a color scheme to go with this style, because many of the looks are bright, techy and cheerful.

Web 2.0 Colors

Check out these palettes that have been put together for you: 2006 colors, 2007 colors, generic popular 2.0 website colors.

These are a couple of other themes I’ve used in my last few projects that I really like

Pop Palette

Newsletter Colors

I like using a red, blue and green and then picking a “pop” color, for those items that need to stand out; usually that’s a yellow or orange.

How do you find or develop a color scheme for your projects? Do you sample colors from a photo? Do you visit those color theme sites? Do you use a color wheel or a color chart?

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