As of January 2019, there were over 1 billion websites in the world (and counting!). In this veritable landslide of code, what can you do to make your website stand out at the end of the day?
The answer is so basic that it’s often overlooked. A website’s color palette often makes all the difference in the amount of attention it gets.
There are many reasons – both aesthetic and scientific – that play into why you should carefully select your website’s color palette.
For one, your color palette is an expression of your brand or business’s personality. The aim is to find something that jives with your brand and showcases how unique your brand really is.
When it comes to science, know that one study found that 92.6% percent of shoppers claim that color is the primary factor influencing their purchasing decisions. In another study performed by the University of Loyola, Maryland, it was discovered that brand recognition is boosted by 80 percent when the right colors are used.
How to Find the Right Color Combination
Creating a color scheme that fits your brand is no easy feat. In fact, color theorists use multiple rules and guidelines to help them assemble sets of colors.
Luckily, you don’t have to. There are two types of tools you can find online that allow you to create color palettes:
- Color Palette Galleries: In these, either humans or algorithms compile beautifully matched color schemes. This is the best choice for you if don’t understand color theory.
- Color Palette Generators: You can use these to design your color palette manually. To use color palette generators, start by choosing a color palettes you like. From there, adjust the combinations, hues, contrast and lightness. Some tools, like COLOURlovers, allow you to look at galleries and use a generator.
Read on for reviews of our top color palette generators to help you create a site that with a color palette that shines.
COLOURlovers proclaims itself an international creative community. In fact, it is 8 million users strong.
You could spend hours on this website, it’s that comprehensive. And at first, you might even find COLOURlover’s interface a bit overwhelming. Though it’s definitely not the simplest of the color palette generators on this list, with so much going for it, it’s worth taking the time to peruse all COLOURlovers has to offer.
On COLOURlovers, you can browse color palettes contributed by millions of users (along with commercially-generated color palettes), shapes, patterns, or the latest trends. If you’d like to brush up on your color theory, you can read articles on the psychology of color in relation to products or troubleshoot your color quandaries on the forums.
As we alluded to in our introduction, COLOURlovers is a tool where you not only can you view palettes, but you can also create palettes of your own.
- Millions of custom color palettes to choose from
- Convenient sorting function
- Easy to find hex and RGB codes for all colors
- Interface can be overwhelming for those just looking for simple color schemes
Coolors is one of the easiest color palette generators to use. All you have to do is hit your spacebar to generate a new 5-color palette (and click on colors to lock them in). This tool also allows you to view alternative shades of all of the colors of your palette at the same time and adjust hue saturation and brightness.
This color palette generator also lets you create a profile and keep your palettes filed under names and tags for easy retrieval.
On the technical side of things, Coolors allows you to export or save color palettes as SVG, PNG, SVG, SCSS or COPIC. You can download Coolors as an iOS app, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator plugin, and a Chrome extension.
- Very simple interface
- Ability to find different shades, hues, and saturation
- Saving color palettes makes working on multiple projects a cinch
- To find a color scheme you like, you might have to click through a ton of palettes
BrandColors is as straightforward as it sounds. The site is a resource for color palettes of well-known brand names. The originator says the site was born because he needed a handy reference for himself (which started out with 30 colors).
Now, the site includes brand name colors for Delta Airlines, DHL, eBay, and Ferrari, to name a few.
The list of brand name colors on this site is quite comprehensive (and organized alphabetically), but if you feel there’s something missing, you can still make a suggestion for the site’s creator to add a brand.
BrandColors also enables you to Share the URL to your color palette or download it in ASE (Adobe), CSS, Sass, LESS, or Stylus.
- Alphabetical organization makes it easy to find specific brand color palettes
- Links to brand URL for design inspiration
- Difficult to find hex codes for specific colors if you don’t know where to look
As you can see from the screenshot below, Colr breaks your image down into tiny, colorful boxes. Click on a box to view the color, or choose to view the scheme as a whole.
The most unique aspect of this tool is that it allows for some extra flexibility, as you can ask the tool to fetch a random Flickr image or upload your own.
Colr also gives you access to a few other tools, like a search engine that generates the color schemes used on websites, and the opportunity to view the latest schemes created by other users.
- Perfect for finding specific colors in images for editing purposes
- Extensive search function for finding color palettes
- Neat way to find website color schemes for your own web design inspiration
- Interface is a bit outdated
- Not all websites you search will have available color palettes, which can be frustrating
Palettable reminds us of a dating app – only the choice is much simpler. Instead of looking for the love of your life, you’re just flipping through colors.
To start off, the site presents you with your first color. It will choose your next color based on whether you Like or Dislike the color before it.
You can have a maximum of five colors in your palette at once. Otherwise, you can opt to trash a color, or adjust the hue.
This color palette generator is for those who are looking for simple fun. The fact that the color combos are based on the input of thousands of designers doesn’t hurt either.
- Fun way to find new color schemes
- Algorithm matching colors based on likes and dislikes works well
- Hard to take seriously if you’re a designer in need of true color palettes
6. Palette Cam
This app has a 4.7/5 start rating in the App Store, and it’s free!
If you like the colors you see in the world around you, this could be the color palette generator for you. All you do is snap a photo and use the app to display the color palette of your photo.
Plus you can easily access the RGB and hex codes to use in any upcoming projects.
- Great way to find color inspiration on the go
- Versatile tool – create color palettes, determine hex codes, use your camera or library images
- Inspiration page helps you find color palettes to suit your needs
- Only available in the App Store for iOS devices
The Material Design Palette tool is also super simple to use. All you need to do is select two colors from the tiles and your work is done!
The color palette generator automatically comes up with a four-color palette that you can download or Tweet. Plus, you can easily view the hex codes, making it easy to use colors you like on your next project, regardless of whether you use this tool to copy anything to your clipboard or not.
- Easy to customize beautiful color palettes based on your own color choice
- Social sharing is neat if you network with other designers
- Easy access to hex codes
- Can only choose two colors at a time, which can be limiting for those that need complex color palettes
And there you have it! Some of the coolest color palette generators around that are designed to help you put together the perfect color scheme for your website.
If you’ve been inspired by these color palette generators, but are still on the fence about which color scheme to use, try looking at other factors to help aid your decision.
For example, different colors attract different types of people and inspire specific moods. For instance, the color red provokes energy and may spur customers to give in to impulse shopping. On the other hand, blue instills a sense of trust and security. Take a look around to see that this is true. Banks often use blue color schemes, and retail stores often use red color schemes. You can have the same effect over your site visitors depending on what actions you want them to take.
And if you’re thinking about launching a new website and need a little inspiration, be sure to check out our roundups of stunning Squarespace sites and real-life Wix examples to get you started in the right direction.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy selecting your splashes of color. After all, playing with color is supposed to be fun.