How To Choose Colors For Your Designs

Hey, Pixels! This week I wanted to share with you how you can choose beautiful color palettes for your designs using some amazing tools. As a designer, you know that choosing colors for your designs is no easy task. Personally, I know that I’ve spent hours picking different colors, adjusting hues and contrast to find that perfect color combo. There are millions of colors that we have to sift through, but thankfully, there are some amazing tools that can be used to help speed up the whole process.

1. Adobe Color

Adobe Color (previously known as Adobe Kuler) was recently revamped and it’s now one of my favorite places on the web for color picking and inspiration. There are so many different ways to choose colors, from creating custom color palettes to using keywords to search for color palettes created by the Adobe Color community.


The “Create” page in Adobe Color allows you to use the classic color wheel to select colors based on various colors rules such as analogous, triad, monochromatic, complementary, etc. If you’re feeling extra creative you can select “custom” and go ham to create your very own, unrestricted color palette.  Not only can you choose colors for the web or in RGB, but you can also change the color mode to CMYK to choose printer-friendly colors. Once you’ve created the color palette you like, you can publish it to the Adobe Color explore feed and/or save it to your CC library.

One of my favorite features in Adobe Color is that you can extract colors from a photo and turn it into a color palette. There have been so many times I’ve seen a beautiful photo that has such a nice color scheme that would look great on a design I’m working on. Not too long ago, I was designing a template and I wanted to create a new color palette for a movie app. I grabbed some photos relating to movie theatres (popcorn, theatre seats, etc.) and used the color extract feature to get a really nice color pallet.

"create" page in Adobe Color
“Create” page in Adobe Color

Explore & Trends

The explore page is a great way to get some inspiration from all the different color palettes created by the Adobe Color community. One of my favorite features on the explore page is the ability to search for color palettes using either moods or keywords, like happy, excited, summer, ice cream, flower.

The trends page is also a really nice way to get some color inspiration from images relating to fashion, food and even travel.

2. Adobe Capture App

There’s another super cool way you can create a color palette for your designs right on your phone using Adobe Capture. In the app, you can select ‘Colors’ which will open up your camera preview and in real-time, selects colors. This is amazing because you can create color palettes on the go!

When I’m out and about and see something that catches my eye, I like to use Adobe Capture to grab the colors. I recently visited the Art Gallery of Ontario and it was the perfect time to get some color inspiration. Simply tap to freeze on a set of colors and then you can further customize your palette in so many ways. The app is available for download on both iOS and Android.

Both Adobe Color and Adobe Capture are really awesome ways you can choose colors for your design. They also sync seamlessly with all the Adobe CC apps, including Illustrator, Photoshop and Adobe XD.

Let’s Chat

What tools do you use when choosing colors for your designs? Have you used Adobe Color or Adobe Capture before? Leave a comment below!

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