As I’ve been going through this blog, I noticed that there isn’t anything on Adobe’s color theme creator Kuler.
Kuler is a free online repository of nothing but color palettes and themes created by developers and users for a wide variety of applications based on rules of color theory. It has an established community sharing color palettes and you can create a theme for anything online or out in the real world.
Once on the home page you are able to see…
» The latest color combination posted by a community member
» A search field to find a specific type of theme
» Theme listings by newest, most popular, highest rated or random
» Tags and comments of the specific theme you are viewing
» Site updates from Adobe on the latest and greatest on Kuler
You will also want to register and set up an account to save/tag your own themes and to just be a part of the community. You will be surprised by the sheer number of themes already listed. All of which are named and tagged by their creators.
After you setup your account, it’s time to create a theme of your own. You start with an analogous theme but you can change that to any of the following…
» or, Custom
You can also start a theme from an image that you upload. Once you’ve selected an image, you can then tell the system to compile a theme based on different moods. One image can produce themes according to a colorful, bright, muted, deep or dark mood.
So, once you’ve played with all that and finally have a color theme in front of you, start tweaking it. Themes are compiled of five color blocks that can be changed in a number of ways. When you are creating a color, you have access to: a color wheel, the five color blocks, hue sliders and then number values for HSV, RGB, CMYK, LAB and HEX.
The first thing I usually do is enter in a hex value for the base color and then start going through the rules above. As I move from rule to rule, I adjust the sliders to come up with possible themes. You will notice that all of the sliders move in tandum and it’s a quick way to get started with colorizing against the rules. There is really no one way to use this tool. It’s very easy and intuitive.
One last thing, developers should look into working with the API. You can create custom color tools for your applications that run off the Kuler engine. These can be worked in with any language and there have been a ton of applications already developed. One specifically is AIR, by Adobe, that directly exports your themes into Creative Suite Applications. Click here to see some other examples of what’s been done.
Kuler is “cool” application for delving into color theory. Remember to be creative and stay outside of the lines!