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Getting the Colors Right

Choosing the right colors and putting them together with complementary colors is a wonderful skill. It is a necessary skill for interior designers. That’s why I’m not an interior designer. That and my poor taste in objet d’art.

Help for the Color Challenged:  There are two great sites on the web that help me tremendously with color. I stumbled across HTML Color Codes, a collection of tools designed to help web designers. The site provides free color tools for finding HTML colors and it’s easy to use.

On the site you can learn about color codes theory, how to use HTML color codes, how to use HTML web safe colors and other things that are beyond me. However, I use the site quite a bit. My favorite tool is the Colors from Image. You upload an image, click on the color you want and the tool returns the hex code for the color.

Take that code to your color picker in your publisher and you can exactly match the colors in logos or other graphics. Much better than trying to guess which patch on the color picker closely matches your client’s logo.

Wheeling Your Way to Complements:  The Color from Image tool returns a hex code, but Microsoft Publisher uses RGB, HSL, and CMYK codes. I solve that problem by going to a color wheel site. My favorite is Rapid Tables’ Color Wheel Chart. There you can put in the hex code of your color and get the RGB and HSL codes for it.

This wheel also shows complementary, analogous and monochromatic colors to go along with your chosen color. A big techie upgrade from the color wheel my junior high home ec teacher tried to get us to understand.

These tools are useful not only for web design. I use them for doing logos, newsletters, brochures and so on. I even use them for designing greeting cards with photos.

Tip:  While working on a project, keep notes on the colors you are using so you don’t have to keep looking them up again. I take snips of the colors and codes with my Windows Snipping Tool and paste them into OneNote.