Making a website? Choose a good color scheme!


I’ll keep updating this page as I find more tools since this seems to be one of the more popular pages on this blog.



One thing programmers don’t generally know is good design techniques. You can usually tell when a programmer has created a UI because they’re ugly and difficult to use. There are exceptions to be sure (Romain Guy for one). For those of us that aren’t as blessed I present here a list of color pickers that allow you to pick harmonious color combinations for web sites, etc.

  • Added 03/06/2007:
    From Adobe and pronounced “cooler” this is a fantastic color chooser. Not only can you create your own color scheme using a very intuitive color wheel but you can also search on the hundreds of color schemes people have already generated to find something quickly. This is a fantastic resource.
  • ColorJack Sphere or more generally ColorJack.
    This is another fantastic color resource. Sphere is another easy to use color wheel with options for both the traditional RYB color wheel as well as the standard RGB model. There are many algorithms to choose from (triad, complementary, etc) but the really unique thing about this tool is the ability to see how color blind people interpret colors. Very cool stuff. ColorJack also offers a service similar to Kuler where you can see color schemes others have created using the Studio tool on the website.
  • Colors on the Web
    This site is more than a color chooser (one is available from the Color Wheel menu option) as it also gives user-created color schemes, forums, writing on color theory, etc. It’s a fantastic resource for those who want to learn more about color.
  • Color SynthAxis
    OK. This is a real designers tool and complicated but damn is it cool. I believe it is best explained by the tutorial.
  • Added 11/25/2007:The Color Wizard

The interesting thing is that tools such as these are coming out of the woodwork these days. At one time Harmony, a Photoshop plugin for the Mac from Hot Door, was the only thing available. They now recommend Kuler and their own application hasn’t been updated in years. My how things change.

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