Create Your Own Palettes
Updated: May 28, 2020
I'm not going to lie, color is one of my favorite parts about being a designer. At university we studied the psychology of color, the history of color, the science of color, and how to combine colors to create pleasing and personal palettes for our clients.
I want to share one of my favorite apps - one I use quite often when designing color palettes. It comes from the fabulous company, Pantone, and it's not only useful - it's a lot of fun.
Pantone is an LLC company, founded in the 1950s to provide designers and artists a color organizing and matching system for use in everything from textile design to paint color.
So...if you download this app, you can take any type of photo and generate a color palette. And the possibilities are endless.
From earth tones to pastels to rich jewel colors, Pantone has catalogued tens of thousands of hues.
That's what makes this app so fun. Once the app generates a palette for you, it gives you the corresponding color numbers in the Pantone catalog, and from there you can take that number and have a paint color made.
Here are just a few example of some of my favorite palettes generated by the Pantone app.
Gorgeous palette generated from the photo of a ballet dancer en pointe.
Fabulous earth tone palettes can be found in nature. Here's how I would use this palette: I would choose two to three of these colors for walls, floors and upholstery, then choose one or two of the remaining colors as accents (lamps, pillow cushions, vases).
How beautiful is this palette?
The Pantone app gives you this view of your photo palette, as well. You can move the dots to adjust the palette to your liking.
If you see a photo of an interior that strikes your fancy due to the color combinations, you can Pantone it and make a useable palette of your own. I've often employed artists who can create a trompe l'oeil (translate: to fool the eye) of intricate tile by painting them right onto the wall. This is an option when historical materials can no longer be obtained.
Most of the prettiest palettes can be found in nature, I think.
This rustic palette could be used in a modern industrial home, or in a lakeside cabin. So warm!
I could go on and on, but I think you might have fun exploring the app on your own. I'm a color junkie, so turning to Pantone to explore palettes is one of the best tools in my design toolbox. Give it a try!