July 13, 2006

Color for the retarded folks (like me)

Some of you may know that I'm color blind. Mostly red and green anyway. Although if you ask my uncle, he'll tell you that I'm not color blind, I'm color retarded. That means I can see colors, but I just don't know what to call them. Bring me an orange and I'll tell you it's yellow. But then show me a lemon and I'll say, oh, wait -- THAT'S yellow -- the other thing is orange. I'm one of those men who are about to leave the house when a voice yells -- you aren't going out dressed like THAT are you?

But my background is in art production, so go figure. My life revolves around things like Photoshop's Info palette. I can tell you what the closest Pantone color is to any object, and I can understand a color breakdown, but it ends there.

So one of the greatest fears for me at least, when I'm working on a new design, is to pick a nice palette of colors to work with. How can I easily pick a range of colors that work with eachother and don't clash?

Well, I found this website and my fears have now been stuffed into a drawer along with my old TRU-MATCH color book. It's called ColorBlender.com and it's a pretty cool site. It allows you to choose a color with some sliders, and it automatically generates a palette of colors based on the chosen color. You can then experiment with the sliders, or make small adjustments as all the colors update. It can even suggest a closest Pantone color to your chosen color.

When you find the color you need, you can export Photoshop or Illustrator files with those colors, or you can even have the palette emailed to you! The site displays the colors in RGB and Hexadecimal values, and it's fun to use -- even for a color retarded guy like myself.

2 comments:

Jack said...

ColorBlender is a great tool, and has saved me a lot of time in the past. If you need to simulate colors for the different types of color blindness, Giacomo Mazzocato's site helps a great deal, especially with foreground/background contrast testing.

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