Design for developers: figuring out colours

Published June 23rd, 2006

I’m no designer. OK I can put together a fairly neat looking site when I need to, but beyond the basics I’m a bit stuck. In particular, I find it hard to come up with interesting colour combinations — I tend to end up with black and white with maybe some grey thrown in if I have to.

Of course the web has an answer for everything. At its most basic, colour theory is actually consistent enough that people have created tools that will tell you what colours go well together — for example, here and here. And this site is a sort of interactive colour-for-dummies tutorial.

Finally, I really like the ColourLovers site. Rather than give you an automated tool to work out good colour combinations, users submit ‘palettes’ that are then rated by others. You can browse through these submissions to find something that suits your purpose.

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  1. Richard Davies on June 24, 2006

    As a developer, I too often need help with my color schemes. Here are some other web sites that I’ve found helpful:

    ColorSchemer’s User-submitted color scheme gallery

    Color schemes grouped by general color and tone

    Another color scheme gallery where users submit and tag color schemes

    This site allows you to upload a photo and extract color schemes from it

  2. Stickman on June 24, 2006

    Great links, thanks. I particularly like the last one — very handy.

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