If you'd love to create colour schemes but don't feel confident with colour theory, this free tool from Adobe is fun and easy to use. You can create a palette by starting with just one colour you like, or take inspiration from one of your favourite photographs.
ISN'T THIS JUST FOR DESIGNERS?
On the contrary. If you don't know anything about colour theory, or are prone to sticking to your favourite one or two colours, this designer-level tool is just what you need.
When you arrive at the Adobe Color site, you have the option to login to your Adobe account (top right).
You don't need to be paying a monthly subscription to have an Adobe account. Just register for a free account. It has the advantage of allowing you to save any colour schemes you create. It's also great if you use their mobile apps.
If you do subscribe to any of the Adobe products, you'll be able to access your saved colour palettes directly in applications like Photoshop, as they'll appear inside your Libraries.
You can use Adobe Color in two ways. Either start with a photograph or start with a colour.
Using a Photograph
Look top right and you'll see a small Camera Icon. Click on this and navigate to the photo you want to use.
As soon as it's uploaded, Adobe will suggest a colour scheme, taken from points on the image. You can see the points it has chosen as these are marked with circles.
Adobe gives you a choice of 5 Colour Moods for your palette. The default is Colourful. If you click on the arrow next to Colour Mood, top left, you will be able to try Bright, Muted, Deep and Dark.
You can also manually move any of the circles around your picture to select a different colour. This will change the Colour Mood to Custom.
When you're happy with your selection, click on the Colour Wheel Icon, top right. This will take you back to the Colour Wheel screen.
Here, you'll see all of the colours selected from the photograph, along with their RGB and Hex codes. You can either Save or if you don't have a login, take a Screen Capture for future reference.
Starting with a Single Colour
If you don't have a photograph in mind, you can simply start with one colour and let Adobe do the rest.
On the Colour Wheel page, you'll notice that the centre colour has a white triangle on it. This is your Base Colour. Adobe use this, coupled with a Colour Rule, to suggest a colour scheme.
You can type in your Hex code or RGB numbers, or drag the circles around the colour wheel to select your Base Colour.
You then go to the drop-down box, top left, to set the Colour Rule. It will suggest:
- An Analogous range, where all the colours lie next to each other on the colour wheel.
- Monochromatic, a selection of tints and shades of your Base Colour.
- Triad, using three points equally spaced around the colour wheel. This is a great option if you want something a little more colourful, but don't know how to put colours together.
- Complementary, where the colours sit directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. A combination that always works.
- Compound, where you have complementary shades that are further developed by adding colours to the left and right of the two complementary colours.
- And finally, Shades, which works beautifully for a simple, one-colour scheme.
You can further modify your selection by using the sliders below each colour swatch.
Again, when you're happy, you can Save or Screen Grab your colours.
This video walkthrough will show you how to:
- Upload a photo to Adobe Colour.
- Select a mood for your colour scheme or adjust individual colours.
- Save your palette, including the RGB or Hex codes you need.
- Use the Colour Wheel Rules to develop a colour scheme from just one colour.
Why Not Have a Play?
If you just stick to the Adobe suggestions, without any further adjustment, you know your colours will work well together.
These are tried-and-tested colour rules and are a great way for a non-designer to create a beautiful colour palette.
The more you use the tool, the more you will learn about colour theory and how different colour combinations work together.