I had no idea that Color Picker was so useful!
Colour software and websites
LaurenMarie from Creative Curio wrote a great article about color inspiration. After that I had a look around for a good website or program that could store your colour1 palettes and inspiration images.
- I have used kuler a bit. It’s nice, but I don’t love the flash interface. It also doesn’t have an inspiration section.
- Color Hunter is a pretty cool site. You can upload images and it automatically generates a colour scheme. However, you can’t seem to save it unless the image is from Flickr. Weird!
- COLOURlovers is definitely getting up there in practicality. You can upload an image and pick colours from it; you can save and publish colour palettes; there’s a pattern tool and you can link to inspiration websites and images. I found the interface a little confusing at first, but it doesn’t take too long to get the hang of it.
- Colorate is the only (freeware/donationware/open source) desktop software for Mac that seemed to be getting close to what I wanted to do. However, from my brief play it doesn’t suit. It only chooses one predominant colour from an image, then creates a homologous or contrasting scheme to go with it.
- Color Combos was a site that I had already bookmarked, but haven’t used because I have no idea how to save the colour schemes you can create.
- ColorSchemer is another one I’d already come across. It looks like what I’m looking for – if my software budget were higher I would give it a go.
I didn’t find exactly what I wanted and let go of the idea for a while. I started making a mobile phone theme yesterday and decided I need a little colour assistance. So, I rejuvenated my search and found an article about using the Mac OS X Color Picker.
It turns out that you can pick colours from images, drag them into the swatch bar, adjust the colours using sliders and save the colours in a list (which can act as palette or colour scheme).
By installing the HexColorPicker you can retrieve the hex values for your colours.
Traditionally Color Picker is a system utility used by other programs, but by using an AppleScript you can start Color Picker as easily as any program.
It even saves your inspiration images along with your colours in Library>Colors!
A more versatile storage system and user interface using Color Picker is a good software idea. Anyone know Cocoa?
1 I prefer the british spelling colour, but I’ve used the spelling color for website and software names.