As any artist can tell you, color matching and palette building can be difficult (if enjoyable) work. Part science but mostly art, the magic that makes colors sing together is hard to pin down. So for someone who does a lot of amateur graphic design work, an app like ColorSchemer is not only useful—it quickly becomes nearly indispensable. An advanced palette creation tool that fits in your pocket, it allows users to build palettes in a variety of intuitive ways, and then save and share those palettes with others.
When first opened, the app displays a running feed of palettes uploaded by other users; at the top of the feed is a search bar that allows the selection to be refined color names (“gold,” “mauve”) or by description (“warm,” “sad,” etc). For a designer stuck for inspiration, the feed is a great resource that can help kick-start an idea for a new palette. Registering with the online service allows you to post your own palettes for other users to see.
Where things get really interesting, though, is in the palette creation settings. Tap the + sign in the upper right corner, and you’ll be brought to the Create Palette screen; four options for building run across the bottom menu bar. Color Wheel, LiveSchemes, and Spectrum all offer fairly standard ways of choosing colors from a wider palette—anyone familiar with Photoshop will recognize them. But the app has a secret weapon in the fourth option, called PhotoSchemer.
(a photo taken during a trip to Nantucket, and the resulting ColorSchemer palette.)
Choose that, and the app allows you to use a photo of your own to build your palette. After opening the photo, users use a color picker to choose parts of the photo, building a custom palette based on colors you have already subconsciously chosen to use for a photo. ColorSchemer simply lets you pull them out, codify them, and tie them together to form a cohesive palette you can use elsewhere. (It also provides the RGB and hex values of each color, invaluable for web design.) It’s brilliant. And while tools like Photoshop could certainly do this before, few have managed to make it so easy to do as ColorSchemer. If you have even a passing interest in color design, it’s an app worth looking into.