I’m not a professional graphic designer. Recently, I’ve become involved in all sorts of color scheme projects, some involving web sites, others involving graphic design.
Thanks to ColorSchemer Studio I’m getting pretty good at matching colors, despite my limited experience and more limited budget.
I’ve been using Macs for a long, long time, but never got deeply involved in graphics design until recently when I was challenged to build my own web site.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so, rather than go through college course on color scheme management, I looked at the dozen or so tools for Mac users that go beyond Apple’s simple color utility.
There’s free, and there’s very expensive, and in between there are color tools that are just right. That’s where ColorSchemer Studio for Macs is for me. Just right.
For the non-graphic designer among the tens of millions of Mac users, color schemes can be perplexing. We know what looks good, but there’s always someone who walks in and, with a better eye, or more experience, can make a few changes to a scheme which, well, makes it better.
I’ve always had an eye for color, if not a bit on the monochromatic side, but never realized how really complex good color design can be. ColorSchemer Studio makes using color both intuitive, simple, and correct.
The ColorSchemer Studio utility is quite simple, even for novice users, yet offers all the advanced features you’ll need for good color balance. The Color Wheel starts with your base color, and you have the full spectrum available.
Click in the Base Color space and Apple’s color utility pops up. Or, use the RGB or SB sliders, or enter a HEX value. Click on the Harmonies tab below the Color Wheel to various versions of your selected color, from Complements to Triads, from Tetrads to Analogous and in between.
Don’t know what all that means? Don’t worry. Be happy. It’s hard to select the wrong color scheme. ColorSchemer Studio keeps a full color history of what you’ve selected in HEX value so going back to look at a color from an hour ago is easy. Just click.
ColorSchemer Studio also has a toolbar that’s easy to figure out. Randomize for fun if not profit. The Screen Picker lets you pull colors from anywhere on your Mac’s screen.
My favorite tool is the Color Mixer which lets you pull color values between colors. It’s the perfect monochromatic color lovers utility. The PhotoSchemer tool borders on professional as it takes an image, analyzes it, and gives you a variety of matching colors.
The Analyzer is good for web work as it takes background colors and displays them against text of various colors. The Suggested Colors tab does a straightforward web page layout with background, header, text area, navigation column, and gives you five basic colors, including text, all based on your selected base color.
One thing I found about dealing with color is the myriad number of adjustments that can be made in just minutes.
That’s good and bad. ColorSchemer Studio has a right column that holds all your favorite colors, then you can save the whole palette for use later, so you never lose colors.
It’s one smart Mac utility that can help me out on a new graphic project without a college course in color. It’s funny how we can be attracted to professional tools when they’re designed in such a way that the features unfold as they’re learned and needed, rather than prohibiting use.
ColorSchemer Studio is also more than just a classy Mac utility for color geeks. The whole web site is devoted to color schemes, and there are plenty from which to choose. More than plenty. The Scheme Gallery features user submitted color schemes which you can download and open in ColorSchemer Studio.
There’s also a healthy and active Forums for additional tips, reviews, and advice.
If you find color scheming to a bit complex and want a tool that’s worthy of your efforts, that isn’t too expensive, isn’t too difficult, but yields attractive results, check out ColorSchemer Studio.
Got a color tool you love? Share your experience and passion in the Comments section below.