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Five Tips for Creating Better Color Palettes for the Web

Color palettes using simple and complex colors

I’ve put together five tips for creating better color palettes based on a recent talk I gave to computer science students. Faced with working on their first mobile apps or sites, they had never really been given advice on choosing color palettes. I realized this is one of those gaps in knowledge; part of the missing manual of design experience you build over time as a developer or designer. I hope you find them useful too.

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Finding Color Inspiration in Games

Commodore 64 color palette by Ricardo Cancho Niemietz

Sometimes we need a quick jolt of inspiration to get out of a color rut. I often hear from other designers that they use the same colors over and over again. There are perfectly good reasons why – we may be known for a certain color palette (Nubby and her black, white and reds), or be restricted by brand guidelines or we just gravitate to some colors. While constraints are great, pushing ourselves progressively as creatives means going outside our comfort zones and also challenging standards. Color is a great way to alter mood, focus, and revitalize. Today I’m taking a quick look at three sources of color inspiration with a gaming theme.

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Secrets to Color Matching Monitors and Printers

color comparison

I was recently asked how a designer can make sure the colors on the screen and the colors on the printer are the same. The hard and short answer is a glowing screen and a printed piece of paper will never look quite the same. They are two different mediums. If you look around you on a typical day, you will also notice lit up signage, billboards, vehicles, packaging, and clothing. Many of those are also produced using a color match system. If you take one color, even a color system matched color, it will not look exactly the same to the naked eye across difference materials.

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Testing Color Theme Tools and Getting Out of a Color Rut

color palette testing

I asked other designers what they were struggling with when it came time to pick a color theme. They gave me a wide range of answers, some about how easy it is to fall into a color rut, while others tend to browse colors and hope for the best. Others mentioned struggling with issues of contrast. These are all challenges we face as creative people. Asking ourselves the right questions and honing our eye for color can help us overcome them and be more effective with our designs.

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