How to Create Your Own Color Palette Image

Laura and I love to make a good color palette image. Like A LOT. I can and have done it all day. I’m just trying to help you understand what you’re signing up for. I’m giving you the tools you need to create lots of color palettes, but we are not accountable for the rabbit hole of fun you’re about to go down.

Here’s a video tutorial on how we do it.

How to Create Your Own Color Palettes Image

Find a Photo

Take a photo or find a stock photo that inspires you.

Make sure that you aren’t just stealing (and it is stealing) some random photo of off the Internet. There are a number of stock photo sites where you can find free photos. Respect copyright laws and respect the artists who created the images. There’s a whole lot more to all of this, but basically DO NOT use a photo unless you know that you are absolutely sure that you can.

I’m going to be using this photo I took while we were living in Okinawa. This was our view every morning on our walk to the bus stop. Its okay to be jealous. I’m jealous of the people who still live there. It’s a flipping paradise.

Create your layout

First you need to decide which way you want your color palette to go. We’re all about showing as much of the photo as we can, while still fitting it into a square sized layout. If your photo is portrait orientation you’re going to want to put the colors vertically. If the photo is landscape orientation its best to put them colors horizontally.

Now you get to decide if you want 5, 6, or 7 colors. Any more or less doesn’t work as well.

We like making everything uniform and make our color boxes the same sizes and equidistant from each other. The idea here is that the colors are complimenting the image, but not distracting from it.

You can actually buy our pre-made color palette templates right here. We have both Canva and Photoshop templates.

Picking Colors

This is the fun part. Okay it’s all really fun, but this is my favorite part.  Most color palettes have 6 colors. You’re going to want a mix of dominant colors and accent colors. DO NOT forget contrast, the light and dark colors. If everything is the same level it won’t be balanced.

OR if you have a photo like the Joshua Tree image that naturally has an ombre feeling to it, going with a gradient of dark to light is another option for your color order.

Color Palette Image by popular US graphic and web designers for small businesses, Bea and Elle: image of a Joshua Tree color palette.

I start by using the eye dropper in Photoshop and then do it by eye until I get a color I feel is a good fit. You can adjust the saturation and hue in the color dropper as well.  Then repeat that step 5 or 6 times. Just keeping in mind what color order I want.

You want your colors to all coordinate with each other. If I’m not sure if a color really goes with the rest of the colors, I’ll duplicate the smart object and then drag it around by the other colors to see if its clashing with any of the other colors.

After you’ve picked all your colors, you may find that you need to play around a little with the color order so you can get the right balance.

Once you’ve got it how you want it, save it and share it!

Let us know if you have any comments, questions, or need a support group for your new color palette image creating addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Bea + Elle

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Brooke and Laura have a combined 20+ years of experience in graphic design, web design, and business branding.

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