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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

Color combintations baffle me

 7:11 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just cannot combine colors and have them look good.

I just don't have the sanity to do it.

Is there a place I can go to find color combinations put together so I don't have to deal with it?

I know this seems to be a request that most normal graphic design people and those that dress themselves can't understand, but for the color impaired, it would be a big help.




 7:46 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Here's a free tool that does exactly what you want. Just click on "launch palette master" in the bottom left hand corner.

Nebulus.org's Palette Master [nebulus.org]


 8:03 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Wow... that's cool as heck! I'm going to definitely bookmark it, for those inevitable days when nothing looks quite right. :)

and those that dress themselves

LOL... If we could find a Palette Master for Kindergartners, maybe my BF's oldest child could join the ranks of those that dress themselves.

Then again, I always found that a wardrobe of neutral colors:
White, Black, Gray and Denim (the Honorary NeutralTM) works very well. For days when you feel daring, throw in one item in a solid primary color as an accent.

...mivox's Fashion Hints(R) now returns you to your regularly scheduled graphics programming...


 8:08 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

that is way cool - I could have used that ages ago. I can't match colors to save my life. I own about 50 white t-shirts and some navy and so forth. My wife mostly matches my clothes for me :)


 9:43 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Oooooh. I guess you have to start off with a web safe color to get other web safe colors?



 9:48 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's designed specifically to display only web-safe colors. :( I guess that part is still up to you...


 9:51 am on Jun 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Here's another palette tool [mundidesign.com]. This one's very visual, makes it easy to try different combinations. I believe they're web safe colors.


 7:06 pm on Jun 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Now if only someone would combine the two... you could pull ONE web-safe color over to the side palette, press a button, and then scroll through different auto-coordinated three or four color web-safe palette choices!

Any scripting wizards out there want to take a stab at it? ;)


 4:10 am on Jul 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

To ease color insanity, select only two colors for the entire site (white and black don't count). If you go beyond two colors, you will fight the "what looks best" batle ad nauseum.

If you want some good info on color combinations, try kinkos, they have a lot of time tested material on the subject, from the print side of the equation.


 2:07 am on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

I haven't read all of the responses but I recommend this site:


It's a great site for design tutorials and info. This particular page is on color considerations/combinations. Hope it helps.


 2:26 am on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

I worked for an internet sweat shop years ago and I remember the designers used some site that had a really good color matching wheel. Like you would pick one color and it would give you a list of other colors that would compliment your main color selection. To be both eye-catching and easing on the eye.

For example, You pick a certain shade of blue and it would give you the right shade of green, yellow, red, etc. to match it.

Anyone know of that kind of site?

Robert Charlton

 6:05 am on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

Very unlikely color (pigment) combinations will work together harmoniously if the colors are grayed down, by the addition of white or light grey pigment. I don't think this can be done as well on RGB colors. You see the effect a lot in so-called "pastel" clothing these days.

Web safe colors happen to be a particularly ugly set of colors to start with... chosen because of some arbitrary mathematics... not because of aesthetics... so if you can't make them work together, it may not be you.


 7:00 am on Jul 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

Last I checked, less than 20% of web users were limited to 8 bit color, and that means web-safe colors are not nearly so important as they used to be.

I usually pick my pallete in 16 bit color, and check it in 8-bit to make sure it doesn't come out hideous. Then I go ahead and give the majority of visitors the fullest color experience I can.


 5:58 am on Jul 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

One more link. This is an area of concern often overlooked - color-blindness. And this www.vischeck.com [vischeck.com] is a facility to check your colour combos to see if they're being seen by the 10% of us afflicted.


 9:49 pm on Jul 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Great point! Thanks for the link! As a non-colorblind person, about the only precaution I could think to take would be not to put red text on a green background, or vice-versa... and I know there's more than just red-green colorblindness.

Robert Charlton

 11:48 pm on Jul 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Beyond color-blindness, there's the "Wired" magazine design syndrome... that dark purple text on black backgrounds (readable on some Macs, but never on a PC).

What looks to be an excellent article on color theory is in the August print edition of DV Magazine... unfortunately not reproduced in their online edition. I'll eventually check out the urls it mentions and see if there's anything I can post.


 11:42 am on Jul 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Here's a simple trick.

Suppose you want two colors that "go together" (a concept that is not rigidly defined anyhow), a dark one and a lighter one.

Make up a dark color on the color cube (that means you use only 00, 33, 66, 99, CC, and FF for your RGB values)

Lets say you pick a nice dark purple: 330066

Now, a lighter counterpart of the same color can be gotten just by adding 99 to each color, producing CC99FF. You've basically turned the brightness up on your color.

An even better trick is to take two colors and alter them by 33 in one of the columns. E.g., you have a nice light blue 0066FF, another nice light blue that would "go with it" is 0099FF. Voila! You are a digital Claude Monet.

What colors don't "go together?" Well, colors which are far apart on the color wheel. E.g., red and green are horribly clashing. Red and blue, just as bad. Black and white and grey go with anything, as my wardobe attests...



 7:59 am on Jul 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

There's a free little utility to download that helps in choosing color combinations visually, called Color Set [webtools.arisesoft.com].

Another one I used to use is called Eyedropper. If you see a great color on a web page, the eyedropper tool hones in on a pixel and gives you the value for it.


 12:50 pm on Aug 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just found a good colour reference including a dictionary of colour names here [anthus.com].



 3:37 pm on Aug 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Seems nobody has mentioned this so far. Visibone [visibone.com] offers a lot of information and (mostly commercial) tools on the topic.


 6:36 pm on Aug 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Ooooh Oooh Oooh...

Here's one:



 6:12 pm on Aug 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

For Mac, Apple's Digital Color Meter is handy for web use... it shows a 'blow up' and RGB color code for whatever pixel the pointer is currently on. It would be dandy to use with a good 'color set' reference (like the Visibone's site or the About site...) and your gfx program. You could be sure of using the same colors...


 11:41 am on Sep 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

What a terrific thread. Thanks everyone! I am in the process (just started) to produce about 18 maps. All these links will be very helpful!

Now I will probably want to redo all my yacht layout pages ... heavy sigh.


 4:36 pm on Sep 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

... probably want to redo all my yacht layout pages

LOL... Liane's got the bug! I find myself wanting to completely redo sites on a regular basis. It's mainly the time and headache involved that keeps me reasonable.


 5:57 pm on Sep 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Not fair to laugh at the new kid mivox! Redoing the yacht pages has already been added to my list of *future* projects. I know what looks good but can never quite manage it on my own. Its very frustrating. These colour combo doodads for the artistically impaired are a marvelous tool!


 6:15 pm on Sep 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

These colour combo doodads for the artistically impaired are a marvelous tool!
Color combo doodads are a marvelous time saver for anyone... :)

I think that's why you'll see interior decorators going through sweeping "color combo" fads (Remember mint green and dusty rose from the early 90s? Harvest gold and avocado green from the 70s?). It really *is* a terrific hassle to tinker with a color set until it's *just* right. 9 times out of 10, someone has already done the work for you, so take advantage of it!

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