adobe kuler – putting the u in colour

colour

It’s not too often i’ll single out software for it’s brilliance, but adobe kuler is hands down the best design tool you can use (next to photoshop of course). What is it? It’s a colour theme generator. Colour is what can push a C+ design in to the A+ category or F category…

It’s pretty easy to spot when i use kuler colour schemes and when i just wing it with a ‘that’ll do’ attitude to colour. The likes of the image above and below are ones i’ve made with kuler colour schemes…

college faces

This image below was just slapped together without much thought about colour harmonies…

failure

Can you see the difference? You should be able to… the college design is easier on the eye, it looks more professional and yes, all the colours seem to just get along nicely and work well together. Compare it to the ‘failure’ design… it’s hard on the eyes. Piercing. Almost ‘shouting’ at you. That was intentional… i was aiming to make it as loud as possible but it’s a much uglier design as a result. It doesn’t look well… your eyes don’t like it.

When it comes to colours, some match and some don’t. It’s as a simple as that. Yellow text on a white background? No thanks. White text on a black background? No thanks – but it’s frustratingly common. I hate it myself.

It’s amazing how good a bad design can look with a nice colour scheme… it still looks professional :mrgreen: Take for example this one below i quickly put together (understatement of the year)… i’ve designed it using my own tacky colour scheme and then switched it for a nice kuler scheme.

bad design

good design

The first design is the sort of thing i’d expect from a two year old. The second design would be the sort of thing i’d be expecting from a two year old genius who shows great awareness for colour harmonies :smile:

And that, my friends, is why colour matters and why adobe kuler is incredibly useful. Your design will more than likely suck if you’re just learning and experimenting, but with a nice colour scheme, it will suck a lot less.

There are alternatives to kuler, but i like kuler as it has an adobe air desktop application and schemes can be downloaded straight in to photoshop.

  • Jeremy

    I'll never share it but I have to admire your enthusiasm for such things man!

  • Karl

    Great article!

    I've never thought of the importance of color schemes before, but when you point it out like this it is very clear. I like the example with the 2 year olds images too :P Thanks for this tips, I will definately try Kuler out while designing!

    Karl

 

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