Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things Day 15: Paletton

Colour (or color, if you’re an HTML parser, a .NET class specification or a human being from the United States of America) is complicated. Way complicated. I’m a pretty monotone kind of person - my clothes are black, my walls are white, most of my favourite foods are beige, and I’m still not entirely comfortable with the existence of green LEGO bricks.

But colour matters. There’s a wonderful infographic from The Logo Company called the Color Emotion Guide, that illustrates how dozens of popular brands use colour to evoke particular emotions and connections when consumers look at their logos:

Logo Color Psychology

When it comes to colour - and all sorts of aspects of visual design - I tend to group things into three categories. Category 1 is the things that just blow you away with how brilliant they are. Category 2 is the stuff you don’t really notice. And category 3 is the things that are so awful you can’t really ignore them.

If you want your projects to end up in category 1, find a brilliant designer, pay them, and trust them; if you want your projects to end up in category 3, let your database engineers design your user interface. But if you’re happy sitting quietly in category 2, you can do a lot worse than learning some basic design principles, and then relying on tools that can help you avoid common mistakes.

Paletton is such a tool. It’s an online tool for creating colour schemes, and it’s delightfully simple; you pick a colour you like, and tell it how many complementary colours you’d like to go with it and what sort of generator to use, and it’ll give you a palette. It’ll generate pretty much any kind of scheme, from bold contrasting primary colours to subtle muted pastels, but it’s based around mathematical colour models that should help you create usable colour schemes and avoid any horrible clashes and unpleasantness.


Formerly known as Color Scheme Designer, Paletton is online at https://paletton.com/. It’s ad-supported, but it’s much more usable with an ad blocker running, so hey, why not block the ads and throw them a few bucks via the Donate link if you find it useful?

Part of #Nerdvent: Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things 2020