A few months ago we shared a link to a fun website titled Movies in Color that extrapolates a spectrum of color swatches from classic movie stills, some really well known and some less. You not only get a little buddy that helps you decide on a color palette for a project, you also get movie references for your movie nights.
Some people are naturally attuned to great color choices and many have either studied overtime via magazine editorial layouts, their favorite designers, studied great art, read Albers's classics on color theory, or just soaked in the preverbal image culture that pounds our cerebral with images and design that in their better moments, represent amazing color palettes.
Next on the list to investigate is Adobe Kuler. It has a very easy interface. You can move the color selector circles anywhere on the color wheel and then chose the Color Rule that you wish to apply to your color selection. The drop down options are Monochromatic, Analogous, Triad, Complementary, Compound, Shades and lastly Custom. You can take a screen shot of various options (there is alittle camera icon on the top right that generates a screen shot for you but it is a little awkward for figuring out how to save it) or save them by creating your themes using your abobe sign-in. There is also a library of color swatches that are downloadable or you can edit or link to and they are rated as most popular, most used and random. The nice thing is you do not need to be an Adobe client to use the tools provided.
Next on the list is the Color Palette Generator. Find an image online, copy the url of the image and paste that url into the corresponding text area on the website. The website generates a generalized color palette pulled from the image. This is not quite as customizable or inspiring as the two above but it is a quick easy.
Formerly known as the Color Scheme Designer, Paletton is ok. It is best for something where you want a palette based on color relationships in the color theory sense as opposed to a palette based a scene where James Dean looks smashing leaning aside a car (yes, you too will find hours of enjoyment in Movies in Color).
We save this for last but not least. The Pantone Color Institute is a resource but the more delicious offerings by them will hit your wallet. They offer some information on the site on the front end about trend forecasts and other color information but if you are dedicated to investing in they have all sort of books and color samples you can buy to physically have in your studio. For instance, on our wishlist, The Pantonview Colour Planner Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 book. It costs a whopping $750.00! But I would buy a lottery ticket to peak inside! Pantone is an interesting site to peruse and it will undoubtably lead you to reflect on how serious of an industry color business is with their products such as a handheld device called Capsure that for $699 USD, scans to capture color on surfaces you direct it towards, your personal swatcher! One would guess that there is an app out there that does the same thing ( and if there isn't developers get on!) but very cool. Color me silly.