Color Tools and Theory

Building a nice combination of colors can be difficult. Here you can find a plethora of color-combo building tools in addition to some theory.

Colormatch redux (#)

More color fun. This tool seems, for some reason, to be more useful than many of the other I've played with. Allows you to dial in a set of colours and exports to txt, act, and ai.

Colour Contrast Check Tool (#)

Jonathan Snook cooked up this excellent color contrast analyzer that allows you to determine if foreground and background colors provide enough contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen.

Go in and have a play around with the tool and you may find yourself surprised at some of the combinations that don't pass the test, or that just barely do.

Color Palette Generator (#)

Pass an URL to an image and this color matching tool will return a color scheme in two formats, dull and vibrant.

Adam Polselli » Where'd Ya Get That Color Scheme? (#)

Adam provides a set of color schemes and the images that he pulled them from, outlining the area of the image where the colors are located.

Color Scheme Generator 2 (#)

This color scheme generator has to be seen. You can pick colos off a wheel, set variations on that color, choose types of color schemes and even see what the colors will look like for users with different types of vision problems.

CMYK (for Those Who Do RGB) - mezzoblue (#)

Dave Shea dives into CMYK and provides the beginnings of a how-to on the topic and touches on colour matching between screen and printer, something that can be quite a surprise to the unexpecting.

Colorblind Web Page Filter (#)

A tool that allows you to view a web page through the eyes of selected color-blind 'filters'. Fairly self explanatory and well documented, head on over and enter an url, choose a filter and go.

Red Alt - I Like Your Colors (#)

Drop in an URI to a page and this little app will extract the colours from the pages' CSS and provide them for you in the form of a swatch and the hexadecimal color code. (#)

Another color tool that allows you to upload an image and pull colours from it. This tool stands out though, in that it used xmlHTTPRequest for speed and responsiveness and offers tagging of colours.

Color synthAxis (#)

A powerful flash based color tool with some features not found on other color tools. Be sure and read the tutorial to learn how to work the controls (and to see the well drawn toilet icon).

COLOURlovers :: loving colours since 1981 (#)

A website dedicated to colors and color palettes. From the site: a place to view, rate and review some lovely colours & palettes. the idea is to create a place of color inspiration where a designer of any sort can see new and lovely colours... - Web Color Combinations Tool and Library (#)

Another color combo building, picking and storing website with a color combination testing tool, a combo library and a forum.

Check out the Resource categories for older content

The latest from my personal website,

SiteUptime Web Site Monitoring Service

Sitepoint's web devlopment books have helped me out on many occasions both for finding a quick solution to a problem but also to level out my knowlegde in weaker areas (JavaScript, I'm looking at you!). I am recommending the following titles from my bookshelf:

The Principles Of Successful Freelancing

I started freelancing by diving in head first and getting on with it. Many years and a lot of experience later I was still able to take away some gems from this book, and there are plenty I wish I had thought of beforehand. If you are new to freelancing and have a lot of questions (or maybe don't know what questions to ask!) do yourself a favor and at least check out the sample chapters.

The Art & Science Of JavaScript

The author line-up for this book says it all. 7 excellent developers show you how to get your JavaScript coding up to speed with 7 chapters of great theory, code and examples. Metaprogramming with JavaScript (chapter 5 from Dan Webb) really helped me iron out some things I was missing about JavaScript. That said each chapter really helped me to develop my JavaScript skills beyond simple Ajax calls and html insertion with libs like JQuery.

The PHP Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks

Like the other books listed here, this provides a great reference for the PHP developer looking to have the right answers from the right people at their fingertips. I tend to pull this off the shelf when I need to delve into new territory and usually find a workable solution to keep development moving. This only needs to happen once and you recoup the price of the book in time saved from having to develop the solution or find the right pattern for getting the job done..