Color is not my life, but through the years I’ve collected more than my fair share of color tools, mostly for web and development work. One of my favorites is ColorSchemer Studio, which also has an iPhone version. However, the one that’s getting the most use these days is also one of the easiest to use. It’s called Spectrum and it comes with a few useful features not found in run-of-the-mill color tools.
Spectrum uses standard harmony rules to generate visually pleasing color schemes, but gives you options to explore all kinds of shades and tints within a palette. My favorite feature is the option to generate a complete color scheme from colors found in an image or photograph.
The floating palette tools are simple enough to use, though I’d prefer to see tool names along with the icon.
Spectrum’s charcoal interface has a visually pleasing professional look which renders colors and themes accurately and simply.
It comes with two color wheel modes, uniform and perceptual, and you can add color schemes to a searchable database. Capturing colors is easy with the built-in color picker.
Color schemes can be imported and exported (as CSS, PNG, and ASE files). Tags can be added for faster search of color schemes, but there’s no way to zoom in or out and view the entire collection of schemes. A scheme viewer would be handy. Otherwise, well done, and a worthy addition to any graphic designers quiver of tools.