Tagged With colours


Until relatively recently in human history, the colour blue didn’t exist. It is conspicuously absent from most ancient languages, including Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Hindustani, Icelandic and Hebrew.

It's as if our ancestors were all colour blind, but only when it came to shades of blue. Today I discovered why.


Colours are important to making things look good, whether it's the clothes you wear or the presentation you give at work. But not everyone instinctively knows that orange and blue is a perfect combination. If you can't trust your own judgement, understand and rely on the basics of colour theory to always pick the right colours.


The distinctive purple tone used on Cadbury chocolate wrappers (Pantone 2685C purple) isn't just instantly recognisable -- it's a legally-protected trademark. That trademark was upheld this week in a UK legal battle between Cadbury and rival Nestle, leaving the Kraft-owned Cadbury with the exclusive right to use the shade on chocolate bars and drinks.


Colorapi is a slick web app that serves one purpose: to help people choose colour palettes according to general ideas by using photos. Using the web app is as simple as entering a search term for whatever you want the colour schemes to be inspired by, like summer.


Android: LifeDropper is a tiny app that uses your phone's camera to snap a picture and present information about the dominant colour in the centre of the frame. It's meant to be used just like the "eyedropper" tool that's in nearly every image-editing app in existence, except instead of being used on a screen, it's for real life.


Whether you're putting together a portfolio website or just slapping together some slides, knowing how colours affect the minds of your audience makes your message more appealing. Smashing magazine offers a post that serves as Colour Psychology 101 for would-be designers.


Mac only: Colour picker application Mondrianum adds Adobe Kuler colour schemes in a plug-in for OS X—choosing killer colour schemes has never been easier. Once installed, using the application is as simple as opening the colour picker in any application that supports choosing colours with the built-in picker, and then clicking the Mondrianum icon on the right. You can search for colour schemes on the Kuler web site, though accessing the colour scheme data requires an internet connection, so you'll need to be online for it to work—but colour schemes can be saved as Apple colour lists for offline use, making this a great application for anybody trying to find the right colours for their projects.Mondrianum is a free download for Mac, works in most Cocoa apps. If you'd rather create a colour scheme from a picture, check out previously mentioned Colours Pallete Generator, or get colour codes in Firefox with ColorZilla.



Colors Palette Generator turns a picture with a pleasing look into a palette of equally pleasing colours for your web site or design project. You can upload any PNG, GIF or JPEG that is less than 1MB in size and Colours Palette Generator will extract colours from it. The application creates three basic palettes of the light, medium, and dark colours, as well as a grid of 49 shades from the image if you're not satisfied with the palettes it has created. Once you've got the look you like, you can export it as either a Photoshop swatches file or as a CSS stylesheet. Free to use, no sign-up required.

Colors Palette Generator


Windows only: ColorPad is a lightweight colour picking application. Weighing in at only 148k and fully portable, it's no burden at all to tuck it in your flash drive toolkit. The default interface is spartan and will appear a bit dated to users that have grown used to some of the flashier graphics in modern operating systems like Vista. Fortunately if the chunky graphics of the default skin bother you, it's a completely skinnable app. Appearances aside, ColorPad delivers a ton of features in a tiny package. You can grab the colour value of anything you can see on your screen in hex, dec, and floating point number format. ColorPad has a persistent zoom function and a split screen option. There are numerous keyboard shortcuts that cover the basic functions and allow you to do more advanced tweaks like shift the colour once you've grabbed it. ColorPad is freeware, Windows only. ColorPad