On Adobe Color
My latest artistic obsession is Adobe Color. I first discovered the website the first time I was looking to develop my brand, and to me that meant picking colors first (obviously). Completely by itself the Adobe Color website is fun to anyone who has ever scrapbooked, taken an elementary school art class, or really even looked at a color wheel. There’s five panels which correspond to five dots on a color wheel.
You can drag these babies all around that wheel, anywhere you want. The default is to give you five analogous colors, but don’t worry, that’s not all you can do.
That’s right, Adoble Color will help you find the perfect monochrome palate, a stunning complementary theme, or shades of your favorite color. Still not right? Go custom for free range of those dots. That’s what I like. No one telling me what goes together (although I have created some themes that aren’t so great that way).
Still not getting the exact color you’re looking for? CMYK sliders below the boxes give you some options for fine tuning. Below that, your color is spelled out as RGB and HEX, which is helpful for getting those exact colors in other programs.
BUT WAIT! Do you have creative cloud? Cause I do. And that stuff is amazing. We’re finally getting technology that talks to each other (I could go on about how that’s happening with Creative Cloud, but I’m sure their website would do it for me). In the context of Adobe Color, you can log into your CC account, and save the themes you create. You can sort them into libraries, and those libraries automatically sync with ALL your CC programs. Go ahead. Open up Illustrator, and start using those beautiful shades of your favorite color to design a logo. Now open up InDesign, and start incorporating those same colors into a page layout. Uniformity, made easy.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S EVEN MORE! Yes Billy Mays, that’s right. The reason my love for Adobe Color has recently turned into a full-blown obsession is the Adobe Capture app. I downloaded it because some silly email me convinced me it was the thing to do. AND WAS IT. Now the capture app does a lot of things, most of which I haven’t fully explored. But in the context of colors, it does what I’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t name.
Open up the app, and you see your libraries. All those beautiful color themes you’ve made and saved to your account. Click the plus sign, and what’s this? A camera? And those familiar dots are back. And they’re moving around?
Tap that screen to calm it down. Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. You just took a picture, and Adobe Capture has recognized some colors in that image that it thinks look good together. Tap the screen again to see it bounce around some more, looking for more combinations. Still feeling like a control freak like me? Freeze the screen and you can drag the dots around to tell the app which colors you’re trying to capture.
Check mark to name and save, and you’ve got a new color theme!
This is especially fun for me because in my everyday life I’m always seeing colors I love. Sometimes I take pictures, but if the actual objects aren’t terribly exciting, or it’s just a bad compositional situation, it’s not always a great image. This way, I can just capture the colors that I love! It’s a great way to get inspiration from a certain sight, the mood of a certain place, and to use what elements surround us in our work. Here’s some themes I captured from my recent trip to New Orleans, a city with a fascinating sense of color. Some of them didn't read too well because my phone camera isn't that great, and sometimes the colors it thinks it saw are even better. Some of them I'll probably never use for anything, but it's nice to have options!
Of course, the possibilities with this app go on for pages more. You can create multiple themes from the same image...
...you can get colors by uploading an image you already have (with both desktop and mobile applications); you can share your themes and take themes from other users; the list goes on. I highly recommend downloading the Adobe Capture app; you’ll never take a casual walk to work again.