12 Free Color Palette Generators For Inspiring Your Inner Artist

Tricia Goss / Design, Marketing Leave a Comment

Color is a key aspect in all of your brand building and marketing endeavors. Using colors from a specific palette in your social media content, website design and marketing assets can help you build a strong and recognizable brand identity.

While this idea is certainly reasonable, actually developing a palette that suits your brand can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch.

Check out these free palette generators (listed alphabetically) as well as some sources of inspiration to help you discover the perfect color combo for your brand.

1. Adobe Color 

Sign in with your Adobe ID (or create a free one) before using this resource, so you can download any palettes you create. Choose one of the options in the Color Rule list.

When you select the main color, the wheel generates a palette based on the rule you chose. You can play with the different rules to see other options or even create your own custom palette.

2. Big Huge Labs

This tool generates a color palette based on an image you have chosen. You can upload a photo from your computer or import a picture from Flickr, Instagram, Facebook or Dropbox.

After choosing an image, click Create Palette. The tool analyzes the image and generates a palette from which you can download “swatches” for Photoshop or compatible applications.

3. Canva 

The popular online graphic design tool also offers a color palette generator. This is another resource that helps you design a palette based on an existing image.

Simply upload the image you want to use as the basis of your palette and the generator produces a set of five-colors. You can copy a color value by clicking on it or go directly to Canva and use it in a new design.

4. Color Kuler

Generate a palette based on your Instagram posts with this unique tool. Enter your Instagram account (or the name of a profile with a color scheme you love) and go. For example, Pantone’s Instagram generated this palette.

5. Colormind

Upload an image to Colormind to generate a palette based on the colors in the photo.

You can also click the Generate button to produce a random palette based on the tool’s unique algorithm.

6. Colors on the Web Color Wizard

If you have a primary brand color in mind and want to create a palette to complement it, enter the hex code of the color in the Color Wizard and click Calculate. Alternatively, choose a color from the drop-down.

The tool generates an assortment of palettes based on your selection as well as variations of the primary color.

7. Coolors

This tool provides a number of settings and options to create a truly custom palette. You can generate a random palette by pressing the spacebar; click on any color in an existing palette to create a new one; adjust values such as brightness or saturation; or create a palette based on an uploaded image.

You can save or export your custom palette to use elsewhere. Coolors also has apps for iOS and Android as well as a Chrome extension.

8. CSS Drive

Upload a photo or enter an image’s URL to generate a palette using this resource. The tool will produce a light, medium and dark palette based on the image you provide.

9. Material Palette

To begin using this tool, click on two colors you like from the 19 hues provided.

The generator produces a palette including suggestions for primary, text, icon and other design colors.

10. Palette Creator Extension

If you want to create palettes on the fly, this Chrome browser extension is a breeze to use. Once you add it to Chrome, simply right-click an image and choose the palette size you want to generate.

The results appear on a new tab, where you can copy the codes or download the palette.

11. Palettr

Want to create a palette based on something less tangible than an image? Palettr will generate several color schemes based on a theme or place.

Here is one palette it produced when we typed in “Texas.”

Here’s another. This one was generated for the term “skiing.” Every search produces 10 unique images with palettes extracted from each one.

12. Pictaculous

Another tool that uses an image you upload to generate a palette, Pictaculous makes a basic two-color color scheme suggested for use with the photo of your choice.

In addition, it also provides additional suggestions from other sources.

Other Sources of Inspiration

Still not sure what palette is right for your brand or project? Browse these tools and resources for more inspiration.

Color Hunt

Originally a project allowing designer friends to share their personal palettes, Color Hunt is now a terrific free source of inspiration and ideas.

COLOURLovers

Explore more than one million user-generated palettes. You can also browse trends, patterns or inspirational images shared by the site’s artistic community.

Color Palettes

Photographer and designer Alex Romanuke is the artist behind most of the images and palettes provided on this site. The collections are categorized by keywords as well as warm, cool, pastel and contrasting palettes.

Coolors

One of the palette generators listed above, Coolors is also a terrific resource for inspiration. You can browse thousands of user-generated color schemes or filter them by a primary color.

Color Combos 

You can search for color schemes containing a specific hex code, select a color from the lengthy list provided or simply browse pages and pages of combos on this site.

Design Seeds

Every day, the folks at Design Seeds publish a new color scheme based on a stunning photo. Browse the posts in chronological order or sort them by season, color or collection.

The Perfect Palette

Although it is intended for use by couples planning their weddings, the color palette ideas provided might be just what you have been seeking.

Take some time, play with different generators’ and peruse the various color scheme concepts. Consider color psychology and think about all the ways in which you might use your brand’s palette in the future. With patience, exploration, and creativity, you are sure to find the set of colors that conveys the perfect message.

Have a color tool not listed here that you love? Let us know about it in the comments!

Related Posts

Grasping The Thorny Issue Of Creativity As a seasoned buyer of creative solutions and a proactive collaborator with many graphic and web designers, writers, illustrators, and photographers, ...
Tips for Designers Working With Non-Creative Types: It Doesn̵... Health Warning: If you are a marketer with a sensitive disposition, take a deep breath, compose yourself, and get a cup of tea - but do read on. You a...
How To Work With The Interventionist Client Marketers and creatives like engaged clients… …as long as they are principally engaged in what they do best rather than design, marketing planning,...

Writer, editor and client advocate specializing in reputation management, content marketing, technology and non-profit topics.