Helpful Tools for Picking a Color Scheme

Who doesn’t love color?  For many creatives, color is at the root of their designs and greatly impacts the feel of the project.  Some days inspiration comes easily, but for those times when you’re stumped on selecting a color palette, here’s a few (free) resources that can help.

Think Ink by Neenah  – Think Ink is a free iPhone application that puts powerful design and color theory tools in the palm of your hand. Create palettes based on colors captured in your photos, your creation of CMYK or RBG values, or Neenah paper colors.Create custom color palettes based on the Dewey Color System®, the world’s only validated, color-based personality testing instrument.  Customize your color palettes in RGB and/or CMYK values displayed for easy reference. Choose from four different color palettes: Subdue, Pop, Classic and Blend. View your color palettes in alternate formats and in type samples. Share you color palettes directly from your iPhone with friends, vendors or clients via email. To see how it works, check out this demo.

Kuler by Adobe is a free online application for generating color themes, also available as an Android App (for now). Explore, search, and create new color themes right where you work with the Kuler panels built into Adobe Illustrator® CS5, Photoshop® CS5, InDesign® CS5.5, Fireworks® CS5, and Flash® Professional CS5.5 software.

Color Scheme Designer– currently in its third iteration, is free but is a  Kickstarter project looking for funding to keep it alive. Featuring color-blind conversion alogorithms, iPhone/iPad app, and a searchable database of color themes created by users.

Colourlovers – an is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles.

Confessions of a (Design) Peeping Tom

I love walking the dog in the evenings. It’s not because I’m a health nut, it’s worse – I’m a design peeping Tom.  I love to see how my neighbors decorate their interiors.  My favorite time of year is between Thanksgiving and New Year’s – when holiday decor is in full swing.  I can catch a glimpse of the tree in the foyer all decked out in copper and green, or the fireplace mantel swagged in flocked cedar garland. All of this providing inspiration for my own holiday design.  The same holds true in my work – I love to see what designers are up to when it comes to print design.

So I was thrilled when I received the newest promotion from Mohawk featuring works submitted to their annual print design contest CRUSH – the Mohawk 12 Show Catalog, showcases what happens when designers lust after paper and print. The piece carries through the theme of the entire campaign – “A love affair with paper.”

The catalog details the winning entries, chosen from the best work submitted from all over the world.  Featuring documentary-style photography, the book showcases the work of eight winners and fourteen finalists who were chosen by the SHow 12 jury: Stanley Hainsworth, Tether, Seattle; Jorge Alderete, Illustrator, Mexico City; Michael Jager, JDK Design, Burlington, VT; and Susana Rodriguez de Tembleque, SY Partners, San Francisco.

The book houses over 90 photographs showing off the pieces that caught the eyes of the jury. Crush is printed on Mohawk Superfine, Eggshell Ultrawhite. The cover features a neon-esque fluorescent green, achieved by two hits of green which extends throughout the catalog to compliment the four-color process used for the photos.  The printer used a 20 micron stochastic screen to achieve the results.  Check out the works and catalog for yourself, sign up to join parse & parcel.