15 vibrant online tools that make color simple

Kelsey Bryant

There’s no reason for your designs to look drab – especially when it comes to color. A quick glance online and you’ll find a stockpile of color scheme apps ready to help you learn, play and perfect your next palette.

From clever Hex code games to comprehensive color wheels, here are 15 of our favorite free color scheme apps to take your designs to the next level.

1. Adobe Color CC
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colorcc

Smooth out your creative workflow with the help of Adobe Color CC. As part of the Creative Cloud, you can create and save color themes and work them seamlessly into other Adobe products. The intuitive color wheel – and ability to pull colors from uploaded images – doesn’t hurt either.

2. Pictaculous
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pictaculous

Building out a website or brochure based heavily on an image? With Pictaculous, you can simply upload that picture and the app will spit out a color palette that pairs perfectly with it.

3. Hex Invaders
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hex

Consider yourself a color whiz? Take a break from your workday with Hex Invaders. Inspired by Space Invaders, this game takes a creative spin by challenging you to destroy the invader that matches the Hex code on the top of your screen.

Bonus: it teaches you how to break down the reds, greens and blues in Hex codes fast. Enjoy!

4. Color: A color matching game
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color

Keep your eyes sharp with Color, a fun (but surprisingly challenging) color-matching game. Move your cursor around the color spectrum to match the center color for hue, saturation, complementary color and more.

5. Material Palette
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materialpalatte

Material Palette is a basic color palette builder. Choose two colors that appeal to you and it will give you an eight color palette that delineates primary, text and accent colors. You’re then welcome to download, copy to your clipboard or share the palette on social media.

6. Colllor
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collor

If you’re tired of guessing the exact hues, lightness and saturation values of a color, you’ll be happy to meet Colllor. Enter in a Hex code for a full rundown of pure tints, shades and tones. You can also play with color mixing and find similar colors to build out your palette.

7. COLOURlovers
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colour

COLOURlovers is an online community for color enthusiasts. Browse palettes or create your own, then get social by commenting and “loving” each other’s creations, following different “Lovers” and checking out the latest color trends.

8. Design Seeds
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designseeds

Design Seeds is candy for your eyeballs. Pairing beautiful photography with pleasing palettes, you can’t help but feel inspired while scrolling through this site. Click on a favorite color or search by theme to filter down your feed. Follow them on Instagram for an extra daily dose.

9. Online Color Challenge
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onlinecolorchallenge

Put your vision to the test with the Online Color Challenge. Your task is simple… arrange the colors in hue order. Sound easy? You may be surprised to learn where your hue discrimination is low and how you compare to your peers.

10. The Great RGB Guessing Challenge
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rgb

Similar to Hex invaders, The Great RGB Challenge helps you to nail RGB once and for all by matching an RGB code to its corresponding color. Mess up and you’re back to the beginning. Good luck!

11. Shutterstock Labs: Spectrum
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shutterstocklabs

Spectrum approaches color palettes from the other side. Start with a color and watch as the page is populated with dozens of images that match. A perfect tool when on the hunt for imagery that matches a specific palette.

12. Color by Hail Pixel
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color2

Hail Pixel makes palette picking an interactive sport. Start by dragging your mouse around the space until you find a color that appeals to you, then start whittling down your colors by moving your mouse or arrowing through matching hues, lightness and saturation.

13. Multicolr Search Lab
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tineye

TinEye Labs takes image search to the next level by allowing you to choose up to a five-color palette, along with tags, to refine your image search. The result is a collection of picture perfect images that are sure to blend well with your design.

14. Coolors
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coolor

Similar to Hail Pixel, Coolors makes color picking more fluid by helping you mix and match colors until you find the perfect combination. Hit the space button until a color combo appears that you like – then move selections around, adjust color components and export your palette when it’s ready.

15. Color Hunt
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Colorhunt

Color Hunt curates a daily collection of colors on a daily basis, so you never run out of inspiration. “Like” your favorites, then filter through the most popular palettes from the past week or all time.

Know some other useful color scheme apps? Share it in the comments!

Featured image: thedalogs (via Flickr)

The author

Kelsey Bryant
Kelsey Bryant

Kelsey is 99designs' Designer Marketing Manager. Born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, she moved to San Francisco in 2009 with a degree in Strategic Communications from Elon University. When she’s not running the designer blog, you can find her exploring the city, taking weekend road trips, and soaking up that California sunshine.

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