Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating a color palette

From: Illustrator for Web Design

Video: Creating a color palette

There may come a time in your creative process where you just hit a roadblock when it comes to developing color. Now, chances are the client is going to be very specific about what type of color they want in their design. But just in case they give you a little creative freedom, you might find it a little difficult to come up with color combinations. And that's okay, because there are several tools out there that will help you develop your own color palettes. My favorite is something called Kuler, and it's available for free by Adobe. So, just go to kuler.adobe.com, and you can sign in using your free Adobe ID.

Creating a color palette

There may come a time in your creative process where you just hit a roadblock when it comes to developing color. Now, chances are the client is going to be very specific about what type of color they want in their design. But just in case they give you a little creative freedom, you might find it a little difficult to come up with color combinations. And that's okay, because there are several tools out there that will help you develop your own color palettes. My favorite is something called Kuler, and it's available for free by Adobe. So, just go to kuler.adobe.com, and you can sign in using your free Adobe ID.

If you don't have an Adobe ID, you can register, like I said, for free on adobe.com. Once you have your Adobe ID, log in to Kuler, and you can start accessing all of the different things that are available to you on this community site. As I said, Kuler is a community about color. And so you can come here and take a look at all of the different color combinations that other people have created. You can also create your own and share them with other people. You can download color palettes for use in different applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. It's a very powerful tool, and I really think that you should use it.

So, let's say, for instance, that I have a client that came to me and said "I need you to build me a web site for this fall festival that I'm getting ready to put on." I say okay, and we get to the point where we're talking about colors and they don't really have anything in mind, and I don't necessarily have anything in mind. I can bring up Kuler, and I can come right here to the search box, and I can just type in "fall" and hit search. Once I do that, it's going to return several different options available to me with that keyword fall. I can search through them and page through the results just like this until I find something that I want.

Once I find something, like maybe this one here, I can click on it. When I click on it, it shows real big across the top, just like this. I also get some information about it here. I can see that it's got brown, burnt, chocolate, fall, green, all these different keywords associated with it. I can see when it was created. I can see if it has any votes, how many times it's been downloaded, so I can see if it's in play anywhere else. I can also view more info like this, get a direct link to it if I need to. I could copy that and then send it to my client, say hey! What do you think about these colors? I can also use this button here to download the theme as an Adobe Swatch Exchange file or a .ase file. .ase files can be loaded into almost every single Adobe application, so that you can then use those swatches in your designs.

So, for instance, if I were to download this-- and I'll just save it to my desktop--I could then go back into Adobe Illustrator. I will go to File > New and just create a blank document. It doesn't matter what document you create. I'll bring up my Swatches panel and drag it out so you can see it. And I'll go here, and I'll choose Open Swatch Library, and I'll go to Other Library, go to my Desktop, choose Fall Fall.ase, hit Open, and there it is.

It loads right in there for me. I can then use all of these colors in my design if I want to. Pretty simple. If I go back over to Kuler, I can see that I can also create my own swatches. So if I go to Create, it's going to jump me here to an image, but I'm going to say From a Color. So let's say that I have a color--and I'll just mix one really quickly here like that, just mix this kind of purple color. I can then go up here and select different rules, like Analogous, Monochromatic, Triad, Complementary, Compound, Shades, and even Custom as well.

Now, you notice as I hover over these it gives you a little pop-up menu indicating what's going to happen when you do this. So, when I click Shades, it's going to create subtle variations of the base color's hue. So, that's what it looks like. Compound: combine interesting colors from multiple hues. Complementary: oppose two colors on the wheel for a simple theme based on two hues, just like this. Triad: space your colors in a triangle around the wheel, and see it forms that little shape. Monochromatic focuses on one color with varied intensity and lightness in a single hue of a color. And then we have Analogous: Match colors with adjacent hues.

So, for this one, I think that Monochromatic is probably the way I want to go, and so I can go over here, give it a title, just call this My colors, and hit Save. Once I do that, it jumps me over into Mykuler and Themes, and there's My Colors right there. I can then download these which I just created as an ASE file. I will download it to my desktop, and then I can hop right over into Illustrator, again go to the Window menu and bring up my Swatches panel, and I can click here; Open Swatch Library > Other Library, and on my desktop should be My colors. Open it up and there they are.

So, the next time you get stumped creating a color palette for your designs, check out kuler.adobe.com and mix and match your own colors to see what you can come up with.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator for Web Design
Illustrator for Web Design

67 video lessons · 25447 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator for Web Design.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.