How To Search For the Perfect Color Scheme

James Yeang 30-10-2008

Color co-ordination is definitely not one of my strong suits. Ask my girlfriend and she’ll tell you what a mess I make just picking out matching clothes. For anyone like me who’s basically ‘design-challenged’, here are two awesome tools which will help you get perfectly color coordinated.


How To Search For the Perfect Color Scheme colors

Search Color Schemes (Use Words)

Picking out a color scheme for your website? Not sure how to describe the actual colors you need? Try out ‘Instant Color Schemes’.

Instant Color Schemes

This excellent free service makes it easy for anyone to find an entire matching color scheme simply by typing in a word. For example, just search for ‘sunset’, and color schemes related to ‘sunset’ will be made available on the spot.

“Instant Color Schemes” makes full use of Yahoo’s image search API. How it works is that they take 5 related images from Yahoo Image Search and then show the most prominent 6 colors from each image and then find related colors to come up with the color schemes.


After some testing, it does work out pretty well in most cases. It did give me abnormal results once in a while (along with yellow and orange, pink and grey colors were displayed to me when I searched for ‘curry’!), but it looks to be a good product overall.

Search Color Schemes (Use Images)

Color Palette Generator

Lost for words? If you are, you can let your favorite image do the talking. Sometimes words don’t cut it. This is especially true when you’re trying to pick colors to match certain objects, a painting or a statue for instance. Just upload a picture to Color Palette Generator and it will break down the key colors from within that photo and allow you to obtain a color scheme from that image.

Also of note is the fact that the source code for this project is available for free which means you can grab it, change and modify the code and put it to good use as well.

So there you go, two tools which will help you make the right decision about colors – all the time.

You might also want to check out The Best 3 Tools to Search for Images Online by Color The Best 3 Tools to Search for Images Online by Color Read More by Ann.

How do you pick color schemes? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Iklan Baris
    September 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

    the Instant_Color_Schemes is very helpful...

  2. James Yeang
    November 9, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Agave and Kuller - 2 excellent suggestions - thanks guys!

  3. manu
    October 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    The Instant Color Schemes is indeed very useful, thanks!

    • Aibek
      November 1, 2008 at 7:48 pm

      One more vote for Instant Color Schemes.

  4. Chris Knight
    October 30, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Adobe's Kuler site works for me, but the two suggestions in this article look like great alternatives.

  5. Mackenzie Morgan
    October 30, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    I use [Broken Link Removed] > when I need to figure out how to color-coordinate.