Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ColorCombos.com - A lightweight color pallete toolkit

I love color tools of all kinds, but one simple one that I keep coming back to these days is colorcombos.com. Specifically, I really like their Combo Testing tool.

The concept is really simple, you can easily load up a bunch of colors side by side for comparison:

What I've found is that the tool works well for capturing and sharing different color pallets. Here are some specific cases I've been using it for:

  • At the start of a project I'll capture all design colors with a tool, and then paste the link the color scheme in my main CSS file. That way, I won't forget which shade of blue the designer actually called for.
  • I can work up a quick pallet of similar colors and send it off to a customer to tell me which one they want. This way, the client can ask to make the text "blue" and I can respond with a set of choices, to which they can tell me the exact blue they want to use.
  • For technical clients of mine, I can have them use the tool directly to work up the specific color selections they had in mind and send me a link to them

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of the site. That's not to say that there aren't a few things I'd love to see tweaked about it. First, it would be nice if under the get link section they actually showed you the plain URL as an option. And secondly, it would be nice if the instructions could be a little more user friendly, so that not technical users could also use the tool to tell me which colors they wanted go with.

Still, even with those areas of improvement, it's a simple and powerful tool that makes something nice and visual like colors much easier to communicate about.

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