Free tools! Create perfect color palettes

Ever wonder how graphic designers use color so effectively? The secret lies in selecting the right palette of colors, in part based on understanding the psychology of colors. Now you can pick a perfect color palette for any project using an easy online calculator.

I already have one free color palette that you can download that works for many situations. If you’re needing to roll your own, check out the Color Calculator from Sessions College for Professional Design.

The calculator is based on the standard color wheel. Colors are arranged around the wheel based on the original light spectrum developed by Isaac Newton.

create perfect color palettes

Colors adjacent to one another on the wheel are complimentary, while colors across from one another are contrasting. Based on these relationships, the calculator finds sets of complementary and contrasting colors based on your primary color.

Step 1 Pick your primary color

This might be the main color in your organization’s logo. Or, it could be the predominant color in a photograph that you’re working with.

To get the exact color you want, use the eyedropper tool in Microsoft PowerPoint to pick your color. When you suck up the color you want, PowerPoint will tell you the RGB (red, green, blue) value for that color.

In the Color Calculator, click on the box in Step 1 and input the red, green, and blue values.

Step 2 Pick the type of color palette you want

The calculator refers to palettes as “harmonies.” Select complimentary or contrasting palettes of up to four colors. Remember that colors are like fonts–a little variety goes a long ways, and they need to be used consistently.

Step 3 See your resulting color palette

Once you’ve picked the type of palette you want, the calculator will show you the resulting colors. Record the RGB values for your new colors. You might want to make a PowerPoint slide like those in my color palette that you can download. That way, you’ll always have your new palette for easy reference.

There you have it! Having a consistent color palette should definitely be part of your brand. But don’t stop there; with these easy calculator, you can whip up pleasing color combinations quickly for any project, such as a tri-fold brochure.

Scroll to top