Choosing the colors for your new website can get a little crazy. It’s really not difficult — but with the plethora of tools and resources available, it can get more complicated than it needs to be. If you’re not careful you can come up with some frightening or obnoxious color combinations. Let’s see what we can learn from Little Boy Blue, and Little Robin Redbreast.
The color palette for this website is not finished yet, but we launched the new website anyway. After 25 years of working in Information Technology (IT) – I still enjoy building the airplane while it’s flying.
Little Boy Blue
Little boy blue, come blow your horn. The sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn… you’ve studied hex codes since the day you were born …
I tried the color palette generator by DeGraeve, but was frequently unhappy with the results (see above and below). The tool allows you to upload an image and it automatically generates a color palette from the colors found in the image. Sometimes it provides an interesting color palette, but other times it misses the mark. Where’s the blue? It’s like the little boy is under a haystack, fast asleep — or maybe his head’s stuck in a cloud.
You’ll need to find a few tools that you’re comfortable with. My favorite free online color selection tools are:
I love simplicity — as you might recall from Blah, Blah, Black Sheep – Mother Goose’s Modern Guide to Blogging. Why waste time on higher education (like kindergarten or college) – when you already learned the fundamentals in nursery school? (An ‘inside joke’ between me and Mr. Fulghum.)
Creating More Color Palettes
So I started using PhotoCopa from Colour Lovers — which also generates a color palette from any image that you upload — but provides more options and control. (See below.)
You can set five colors in the palette and adjust each one as needed. When you click on the color, it reveals the HTML hex-code, etc.
If you are not happy with one of the color selections, you can cancel it (x), and pick another color. You can also enlarge a section of the photo, focus in on specific colors, and select specific colors you want included in the palette. (See below.)
The example above is actually getting close to the color palette I think we need for this website (ixp123.com), but I’m still not happy, so let’s try another image. The photograph below shows some of the people on our design team. Daniel is on the left. Talitha is typing on the Mac, and I’m little boy blue.
Here’s the color palette we created from the photograph, using the PhotoCopa tool :
Let’s look at one more example — this time with some warmer colors …
Little Robin Redbreast
Little Robin Redbreast, came to visit me; This is what he whistled, thank-you for my tea … Here’s the little robin (photo/image below) that we’ll use to create our color palette.
The resulting color palette contains a variety of interesting warm colors:
That’s all we have time for today. Good night.
Bonus: Colorful Links and Resources
- 5 Amazing Color Palette Generators – by Sarah Perez in Read Write Web
- 10 Beautiful Website Color Palettes That Increase Engagement – by Crazy Egg / The Daily Egg
- 11 Beautiful Color Palettes Inspired by Nature – by Buzzfeed and Behr Paint
- 21 Examples of Beautiful Color Used in Web Design – by Gisele Muller in Web Design Ledger
- 24 Flat Designs With Compelling Color Palettes – by Julia Larson
- 30 Beautiful Three-Color Websites for Your Inspiration – by Tara Horner on Honkiat.com
- 50 Beautiful Color Palettes for Your Next Web Project – by Julia Larson
- Dozens of Beautiful Color Palettes on Pinterest – by Design-Seeds
- Treasure Trove of Color Palettes on Pinterest – by Jennifer Clay
- Pyschology of Color [infographic] – by the WebPageFX design team
- Stop Making Things Pretty and Start Designing – by Michelle Schulp
- Real Mother Goose Classic Color Rhymes [children’s book] – including favorites like Little Boy Blue; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Little Robin Redbreast; – and many more!