Choosing colours can be tough! With so many gorgeous options out there, deciding which two or three to use as your main brand colours is a decision many people find themselves agonising over. You want the palette you choose to be uniquely you. Something that reflects your brand’s personality, sets your brand apart from the competition, and, of course, be aesthetically pleasing. These are six of my favourite tools to use when I need some inspiration or help to pick brand colours. Take a look!
Coolors is a beautifully designed site that allows you to browse through colour palettes at the hit of the space bar. When you first open up the page, you’ll have the option of being shown the various tools via their handy tutorial, which covers how to select, adjust and lock down your custom colour scheme. Coolors also gives you the option of picking a colour palette from an uploaded image! In terms of it’s ease of use and the extensive tools it provides, this is one of my favourite colour tools. And it’s totally free to use on your desktop!
2. Color Hunt
Color Hunt is a collection of colour palettes put together by all kinds of designers. All the four-colour palettes are free to use and provide Hex codes by hovering over the colours. You can also create your own palettes to add to their extensive collection, but there’s no real way to adjust your selections the way you can do with Coolors. You also can’t edit the palettes you find. Instead, this minimal and simply designed website is all about browsing through the collection it has built up since starting in August 2015.
Like Color Hunt, Color-Hex (ugh, keep spelling these names with a “u”) has a huge collection of palettes (these are five-colour palettes) from its users that you can browse through for inspiration, and also add to. If you select a palette, you’re provided the Hex code and RGB breakdown, as well as a PNG image you can download for later reference.
The most interesting part of Color-Hex though, is that you can input a single colour and get a bunch of info about it. As well as the colour breakdowns, you’ll get shades and tints, complementary colours, related colours, combinations with other colours and also examples of how the selection looks when used in web design. Definitely stuff to take into consideration when choosing your brand colours.
4. Adobe Color CC
Adobe Color CC is a tool is mostly for building a colour palette, specifically by following a “color rule”. You can select a rule from the drop-down menu (which includes, complementary, triad and monochromatic among others), which then allows you to automatically select five colours at once, set at certain angles on the colour wheel based on the rule you selected. If you’re unfamiliar with colour theory, this can be a fool-proof way to pick out a custom colour palette that fit together well. If you’ve got an Adobe CC account, you can add the palettes you create to “My Themes” for easy access.
You can also upload an image to select colours directly from a picture, with more control over the final colour selection than you get with Coolor’s version.
5. Color Palettes
Color Palettes is such a lovely site to browse through. It’s a collection of colour palettes pulled from beautiful images — great for mood boarding. Browse by colour (or two) or by tone (warm, cool, pastel and contrasting). You’ll find yourself quickly saving a bunch of these to your library for inspiration on your next project.
6. Name That Color
The last tool on my list, Name that Color, is fun if you like having names for your brand colours. Type in or select any colour and you’ll be given a name for that particular shade (or at least something very close). The developer of this cool project built up a compilation of over 1500 colour names, which are listed in a drop-down menu in alphabetical order, if you’d also like to try picking your colours that way. Thanks to this tool, I can now refer to my two main brand colours as “Alizarin Crimson” and “River Bed”.
While it can be loads of fun playing with colour schemes, limiting the huge number of options to pick brand colours for your visual identity can be overwhelming. I hope these tools can help you to settle on the right choice for your business or project, and choose a beautiful palette!
I told you my brand colour names. What are yours?
Looking for more content? Try these:
- 22 hand-picked colour palettes for your next project
- Understanding colour modes and how to them in design
- A complete guide to creating a brand that perfectly suits your business
- 5 essential elements your visual brand identity needs
- How to use consistent branding to grow your business
- Consider these 8 key points when designing an awesome logo
- 5 typography tips to refer to when designing
- Brand personality quiz: learn what the traits of your business are