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Color Palettes: Five Smart Choices

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Looking for a great color palette that suits your design style or project? Whether it’s simply better viewing quality or better color fidelity you desire, you’ll need smart color management to get the job done.  Color palette tools provide an advanced preview of color values, and some even suggest matching color groups, increasing your chances of getting color choices just right.

A designer is usually the sole person in charge of color choices, so it’s up to you to pick colors that blend well and resonate positively with the user.  It’s useful to be aware of the relationships between colors as well.  Your main objective is to pick colors that complement content as well as the particular design style you’ve chosen.  In addition, never forget your audience.  Color is often the first thing that appeals to a new visitor, and may play a large role in their return (or not).  Thus, color choices should always direct attention to content.
If you stop to look, you’ll find dozens of color tools out there, each with distinct interfaces.  Some are fairly simple, like the Color Blender site, and others are quite advanced and creative like the ColoRotate site, which boasts a diamond-shaped color wheel and 3-D graphics.  When you’re completely clueless about which color tool is right for you, try several and then bookmark your favorites.  Below are my top five picks for the best on the web.

Color Munki

Color Munki is the most affordable of my picks.  Its calibration feature allows users to choose colors based on the light emitted from their computer screens.  In addition, extensive, built-in color libraries give users a large selection of colors to choose from.  Use the keywords in the search function to find that perfect hue or color combination.

Toucan

Perhaps one of the most popular color tools, Toucan allows the upload of up to a 20-color selection.  Its versatility allows for choice by color association from an uploaded image or by manual selection.  The site navigation is also a plus making it convenient to have several options on the screen at the same time.

Color Blender

One of the best sites for generating customizable color combinations, Color Blender offers a simple interface for convenient color selection.  After choosing the color of your choice, you’ll get an automated six-color combination which can then be tailored to perfection.

ColourLovers

Color also means community and information on the ColourLovers site.  Perfect for color afficionados of the chatty type, this site offers a chance to connect and converse with others.  In addition, users can share and read related articles and content to find out all the latest in color trends.

ColoRotate

Very few things can beat a 3-D, real-time color tool experience.  The ColoRotate site is definitely state-of-the-art color management, not to mention a pretty good time, too.  Even better, all those graphics are more than mere fluff.  The tool itself is actually very useful and accurate.  I think a great choice for those looking to stay on the cutting-edge of color.

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