Monday, March 18, 2013

Personalized palettes

Everyone has their favorite palette of colors, and while some advise heading for your closet when you need to pick colors for your home sometimes we need new, we need different, we need exciting. A great way to break out of old color habits is to turn to nature and observe the amazing palettes that exist  all around us. But once you find that perfect animal or forest picture that feels like a feast for the eyes what next?

Color inspiration can come from anywhere but we don't always know how to utilize it. So this week here on Life in Color we want to show you a great tool for getting comfortable creating color palettes for whatever project you have on your plate. But first things first, we need some inspiration! So with out further ado may we present the Mandarin Duck. These little beauties live in eastern Asia, but strangely enough are closely related to plain  American Wood Duck. The males wear an impressive array of colors to attract the ladies and it's that natural plumage we are are going to utilize to create our  palettes. 



We will be working from one of these pictures but if you would like to work from a dress or painting etc. you just need to take a photo in natural light to allow for the best possible color representation. Now that we have our color inspiration in digital picture form its time to show off our tools. There is no special software required. The magic happens right in your browser. 

Kuler is a free service and color community by Adobe the same company that makes Photoshop and many other products used by designers world wide including our team here at Colour Studio. Kuler is specifically designed to help you create, save, and share color palettes for professional or personal purposes. 

When you first arrive at Kuler you'll see a sea of beautiful color palettes already created by other users. For our current purposes head to 'Create' then 'From an Image'.   Upload your image and start playing. On the left hand side you'll see moods you can select from that change up what colors the algorithm is choosing.  But frankly its more fun to  drag the color pickers around on the image until you find a set of colors that sparks you fancy. Here are some examples using our lovely ducks. 

"Dark"
"Bright" with some customization
"Colorful" with some customization
Once the colors are chosen you can save the numbers that are associated with those colors. If your project is on the computer those numbers can be used directly or you can even convert them into paint colors with the help of online tools. Color is a powerful influence in our lives and now with so many creative resources online for free there is no need to fear a color catastrophe. Kuler lets you play with color and see the results of other users color fun. 

Share links to you color themes in the comments!


- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

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