NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, November 2011
Color Scheme Designer: Free Online Color Wheel
By Verla Herschell,
Digital Imaging SIG Leader, Topeka (Kansas) PC Users Club
topekapcusersclub (at) cox.net (click to email author)

The color wheel is a proven tool for those in the business of color and design, whether you are an interior designer, web designer, or artist. Well, I have come across a new “color wheel” for you, provided that you have computer and Internet access. It is part of an online program called “Color Scheme Designer” – http://colorschemedesigner.com/. It is a free application, though donations are accepted if you like it.

When the program opens up, you will see a color wheel on the left and boxes of color on the right. There will be six small circle icons above the larger color wheel. These let you choose monotone color, complement, triad, tetrad, analogous, and analogous with an accent. On the color wheel is a small dark dot that you can grab with the cursor and move it around the wheel to choose the color you want. For the triad, tetrad, analogous and analogous accent options, you can also adjust the ghosted dots on the color wheel. Under the color wheel are two other tabs: “adjust scheme” which can be used to adjust the saturation/brightness and contrast, and “color list” to see the actual colors used for the scheme. Under “adjust scheme”, there is a set of presets that can be used to further adjust the colors you might want to use. Just below the color wheel is an RGB: ######; when you click on that you can input your own number for your own color. You either have to know those color numbers, or you can use a program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to eyedrop a color and check the mixes, where the color number can be found.

On the right, below the color boxes, there are three tabs: “Preview”, “Light page example”, and “Dark page example”. When you click on either of the last two you will see a sample page using the colors you have chosen. In the lower right directly below the boxes in the Preview is a “Show sample text” button which will show what black, white and gray text looks like on the colors you have chosen.

At the top on the right are tabs for “Undo”, “Redo”, “Random”, “Colorblind”, “Color space”, “Export”, and “Help”. Under the “Colorblind” tab is a drop down of presets for what the chosen colors would look like to be readable by a person with different variations of colorblindness. The “Color space” tab drops down to let you see what your colors would look like as “Web colors” and “Pantone” colors; there is some slight color change when you select one. Under the “Export” tab is a drop down that will let you export to the different types of color palettes for the web / HTML and Photoshop, as well as a couple others. The ability to export your palette is great if you are creating a page or art in a program that “reads” the type of palette chosen.

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