18 Tools to Help You Create Beautiful Color Palettes

Color is important.

Color conveys emotions (urgency, calm, fun). It provides your readers with additional information (warnings vs disabled buttons). Color sets the tone of your website and guides your readers to where you want or need them to go.

If you're designing your brand or website, choosing a color palette is one of the first things you'll do.

But with so many colors to choose from, how do you decide which ones to use?

Here are some of my favorite color palette generators and color tools to help you design your brand and website.

 18 Tools to Help You Create Beautiful Color Palettes

Color Inspiration

These tools are so helpful for generating color palettes and seeing them in use. I often use these tools first to get an idea of what colors would work best and then hone from there.

 
 Coolors: The super fast color schemes generator!

Coolors

Coolors is a super fast and simple color palette generator. Press spacebar to generate a new palette, lock in colors that you like, adjust and refine colors, and then export your palette when you're ready.

 
 Color Safe: Empowering web designers with beautiful and accessible color palettes based on WCAG Guidelines of text and background contrast ratios.

Color Safe

Color Safe is a tool to create accessible color palettes from the very beginning. Simply choose a background color to get started and this tool will generate colors that are guaranteed to contrast well with your chosen color.

 
 An example of various illustrations and graphics using the color blue or #67cae1.

Dribbble Colors

Want to see beautiful artwork and illustrations that incorporate a particular color? Turn to Dribbble's color tool. Search for the color you want to see and Dribbble will provide you with a number of illustrations and projects that use that color. This is great for seeing if the color looks good in the wild or for finding more colors to add to your color palette.

 
 Pinterest board of a variety of color palettes including palettes focused on pink, blue, brown, green, etc.

Pinterest

Pinterest is so useful for collecting and organizing colors, images, and textures that you love. Here, you can find plenty of curated color palettes. Here's my Color Palettes board to get you started.

 
 Site Palette demo with a variety of colors pulled from the Karmabot website.

Site Palette Chrome Extension

A free browser extension for Chrome that generates color palettes based on any website. This tool auto generates color palettes using several different generators. You can choose which colors you like, create shareable links and fine-tune your color palette until it's just right.

 
 A small subsection of a grid of 147 colors.

147 Colors

Want to use one of the 147 colors that have names? Use this tool to find a color you like and then find out what the name of the color is!

 
 Khroma: The AI color tool for designers. Discover, search, and save color combinations you'll love.

Khroma

This is a tool that uses your top 50 color preferences to generate a color palette just for you. "By choosing a set of 50 colors, you'll train a neural network powered algorithm to generate colors you like and block ones you don’t, right in your browser."

 
 Gradients.io features a homepage with a variety of gradients ready to go.

Gradients.io

If you're a fan of modern gradients, check out Gradients.io. There are plenty of gradients here to start your project off right!

 
 The AI Color Wheel automatically colorizes logos, illustrations, wireframes, and other graphical art. Upload your design to quickly generate color palettes.

AI Color Wheel

Want to see how different colors look on your logo, illustrations, wireframes, or other graphics? Design them in grayscale and then use this tool to try on different colors.

 

Accessibility and Color Contrast

While creating your color palette, keep in mind that not everyone sees color the same way. People have different vision limitations and these can affect the way your favorite colors look to them. Use these tools to help you create a color palette that doesn't leave anyone out.

 
 WebAIM homepage allows you to immediately check for color contrast.

WebAim

A color contrast checker that will show you if your text passes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at different standards. This tool is especially useful if you're new to WCAG because it tells you what it's testing for.

 
 Contrast Ratio color page has instructions on the main page as well as a place to input color choices.

Contrast Ratio by Lea Verou

I personally love using this handy little tool put together by Lea Verou. Simply add your background color and your text color to see if your contrast ratio passes standards. If not, you can use the up and down keyboard arrows to change the colors and try to get closer to passing standards.

 
 Use sliders to change color contrast on Colorable's homepage.

Colorable

Another useful way to test color contrast. Use sliders to change the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness of the different colors until your colors pass color contrast standards.

 
 NoCoffee opens up to give you access to over 20 different ways to change your website to reflect vision differences.

NoCoffee

A Chrome browser extention that allows you to test websites and color palettes by showing you what those web pages look like for someone with slight or extreme vision problems. This tool tests how websites look with Low Acuity, Low Contrast Sensitivity, Colorblindness, Visual snow, glare, ghosting, and cataracts, Nystagmus, and Obstructed visual field. This will give you a good step toward making your website usable and visible for more people.

 

Color Games

If you're having fun, it doesn't feel like learning right? These games may not be helpful for everyday color palette design, but they can help you level up your color skills!

 

 4 challenges of sorting by hue. Instructions are provided as well as facts about how different people see colors.

The X-Rite Color Challenge

Complete a quick hue sorting challenge to see if you have a color vision deficiency. This challenge doesn't replace a full exam, but it's fun to sort the colors and it may just turn up an issue you weren't aware of.

 
 3 little alien bug creatures of different colors float down the screen closer to your city. You must defend the city with a cannon. Shoot the Invader that matches the color given to you in hex format.

Hex Invaders

Want a fun way to practice your hexadecimal color knowledge? Play this game and shoot the hex invader whose color matches the hex code provided to you. Useful? Maybe not. Fun? YES!

 
 Choose the color that the RGB color code given to you. The more you get right, the higher your score.

RGB Challenge

The RGB Challenge is similar to Hex Invaders but without the Invaders. Here, you choose the color that matches the RGB Color Code given to you. Could be a fun way to test your RGB knowledge!

 
 A color matching game where you are given the opportunity to challenge your color matching skills on 6 different levels: Hue, Saturation, Complementary, Analogous, Triadic, and Tetradic.

Color: A Color Matching Game

Match the color in the center and get as close as you can! This can help you get more familiar with the color wheel and help you choose the correct color faster.

 
 Color Run: Just click the lighter color. Fast!

Color Run

Okay, I can't pretend that I have any use for this game. You simply click on the lighter color of 2 colors as quickly as you can. The game ends when you click on a darker color. The more light colors you click on, the higher your score. Waste time with color!

 

How do you decide which colors to use? Any tools you love to use? Leave a comment and let me know!