28 January 2013

Color Inspiration: This Extension Might Just Make Your Design Memorable

Graphic designers live and die by color. A good color scheme can be the icing on the delicious cake of a good design, but a bad one could devastate even the best-composed piece. That's why choosing colors for a piece can be as nerve-racking as it is essential. If you're finding yourself in the midst of a color catastrophe, Adobe's Kuler extension may just save the day, and it's probably already included in your copy of a CS6 program.

Whether you're in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, just check the Window menu under "Extensions" for Kuler. If you don't have it, you can also browse and create using their free website. The process is effectively the same whether you're using the app from within CS6 or online, but I recommend launching it from CS6 so that you will be able to seamlessly add any color schemes you find or create into your swatches panel.

Kuler's slick web-based interface

Once you get started, the process is simple: you can search keywords, browse the latest and greatest themes, or take inspiration into your own hands with an intuitive color wheel that lets you set rules and create a beautiful design with minimal time and effort.

My five-second color scheme using Kuler's wheel

If your design is looking drab and you think the colors may be to blame, spend some time on Kuler and see if you can't find a theme that brings it to life. It's saved my life time and time again, and I hope it helps you too!


  1. I knew InDesign had something similar in the actual program, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say this helps everyone who did not know about it before. The choices for swatches with themes like "Highest Rated" are helpful, but the website lets you customize it anyway you'd like. Thanks for posting this!!

  2. "This Extension Might Just Make Your Design Memorable", this statement could not be more true. Color, like you stated is one of the basic essentials in design. Having a program that lets you manipulate colors side by side is convenient. Especially if you are having one of those design block moments. This allows for a fresh perspective and new ideas. I think this is most useful when it comes to web design, the proper colors can generate a good sense of hierarchy and order.

  3. I have CS5 for the creative suite. Does anybody know if there's a way to get it for my version or will it just work with CS6? I don't particularly want to spend crazy amounts of money.