How to Select Perfectly Matching Color Combinations - Mini-Guide, Part 11




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ColorSchemer Studio

ColorSchemer Studio is a color matching application that helps you explore color using a visual color wheel. You can mix colors, create gradients and analyze contrast and readability. A Mac OSX version is available.

You can take a Flash tour of the application [opens Flash file] and this matrix compares Color Schemer and Color Schemer Studio. Demos are available. Color Schemer ColorPix is a free Windows application that grabs a pixel and transforms it into different color formats.

Price: Color Schemer Studio (Win and OSX): USD $49.99. Color Scheme Studio OSX: USD $49.99. Color Schemer (Win only): USD $34.99. 15-day trial available. See the Web site for student and teacher discounts. Color Schemer ColorPix (free), Color Schemer Galleria (free) and Color Schemer Online (free).

Free to try

Meet the Rolls Royce of color matching tools.

ColorImpact is the best professional tool available for creating harmonious color schemes. It offers all of the best features from all of the other color matching tools available in one nice package. It's intuitive, reliable and full-featured.

With its highly visual user interface, ColorImpact brings effective color theory into action with a mouse click. The application is targeted to professional multimedia and Web designers, but novices and beginners can easily master it.

Many color formulas are already built-in and include triads, complements and analogous colors. You can design your own custom color formulas to explore advanced or alternative color combinations. You can export color schemes as Photoshop palettes, CSS files or the clipboard for pasting into your favorite design application.

ColorImpact offers many advanced features that will make any designer happy. These include:

a) The quality and variety of available interactive test patterns.

b) The "variation" palette feature for exploring variations of the current color palette. See how a color scheme looks when you make the colors lighter, brighter, darker, more saturated, less saturated, warmer or cooler.

c) The undo feature that can go back 100 steps.

d) Color Formula Editor for creating custom color combinations.

e) An integrated color picker for precise sampling of color references from images, Web pages and other documents.

The program includes many features for quick access from Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, FrontPage and other applications.

A feature tour is available at:

You can download a 14-day free trial at:

Price: USD $49.95

Must have.

Free to try

When she couldn't find anything that met her needs, Nicole Ross designed Color Wheel Pro. It's an application for interactively creating various color schemes and previewing them on real-world examples like Web sites, product packaging and logos.

The preview occurs in real-time. When adjusting the color scheme, you immediately see your changes on the available samples.

The approach is the same one used on the Color Calculator — an interactive color wheel providing access to mathematical color combinations. You can save and "preview" different color "presets" applied to the several sample designs.

Color Wheel Pro includes all the classic color schemes: Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary, Triadic, and Tetradic. It's also possible to create custom, or so-called "freeform" color schemes.

However, it's not possible to load your own designs and see the color combinations applied. Even though that would fantastic, the technical issues make it impossible.

The best thing in this tool is a well-written help file containing useful information about color and its characteristics. This alone justifies the price of Color Wheel Pro.

One area where Color Wheel Pro needs improvement is to let the user to easily view and export color codes and to enter them using numeric values, if needed. This is a useful and easy-to-use tool. Try it out by downloading a free 30-day evaluation at:

Price: USD $39.95

Recommended. - Color Calculator ***DEAD


This valuable and beautifully designed interactive Color Calculator helps you find perfect color combinations in a snap. A color wheel provides full color spectrum and several mathematical models to find the right color complements. Sample combinations are interactively displayed and RGB, CMYK and Hexadecimal codes for every color are available for exporting to other tools.

The Color Calculator is a great and easy-to-use tool that makes finding perfect color matches as easy as possible. It might be more difficult to decide which one of the infinite possible combinations you prefer.

The only weakness in this tool is that it doesn't allow directly entering a pre-selected color with specific RGB/CMYK/Hex codes. If you already have a precise color you want to start with, then this tool will be hard to use.

You're required to enter your name and email address to access the color calculator at

Price: Free

Highly recommended.


ColorDB features a multi-faceted online dashboard with different tools that allow you to create the perfect color combinations for your website or creative projects.

You can find any color matches by typing the name of the color of your choice into the search field, such as “red”, to have a comprehensive display of color harmonies pop up for that specific color. You can also click on the color wheel (or on the color palette to the right) to select your favorite color tone and have ColorDB generate automatically the possible color schemes. Another option is to use the color map and click on any color you want and then have the service create a possible match for the tone you selected.

The service also provides you with the values of the HEX, RGB, HLS, CMY and CMYK of any colors you select, so that you can give precise instructions and references to your web designer. To grab a specific color code, just place your mouse pointer over that color and watch the code pop up in a small window.

Price: Free.

ColorTools Color Matcher Tool

ColorTools Color Matcher Tool is a web-based tool that helps you measure whether two colors match or not and whether they can ensure the maximum legibility and consistency to your designs.

Simply select a color by choosing three pairs of numbers or letters on the palette of the left and repeat the procedure on the palette of the right, in order to form the HEX code of the color tone you want. Once you find the colors of your choice on both palettes, click on the “Match” button and check whether the two colors go well together according to the percentage rate. The higher the result, the more precise the color combinations will be.

Price: Free.


How to Select Perfectly Matching Color Combinations - Read More

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    Edited by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
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