Creating Color Themes using Kuhler
If you’re looking for color inspiration for your next design project, check out Kuhler. Kuhler.adobe.com is a free online application allowing anyone to discover, create and share color themes (aka swatches). Create and share your own or get inspiration from themes created by others.
Tip: If you plan to save your color theme, you’ll need to register for a free Adobe ID. If you already have an Adobe ID, just sign in using your current account information.
To get started click Create > From a Color.
Your options are to:
- Change the colors by moving the color markers around the color wheel.
- Select a different color rule.
- Select the Custom rule and use the wheel or sliders located at the bottom of the screen to adjust colors.
Color Wheel’s Rules:
Analogous – matches colors with adjacent hues.
Monochromatic – focuses on one color with varied intensity and lightness in a single hue.
Triad – spaces your color in a triangle around the wheel for a contrasting theme.
Complimentary – oppose two colors on the wheel for a simple theme based on two hues.
Compound – combine interesting colors from multiple hues.
Shades – create supple variations of the base color’s hues.
Custom – drag individual colors around the wheel with complete freedom. Clicking this rule unlinks the color markers so they can be moved independently.
After you choose how you want your colors to relate by selecting a rule, you’ll need to pick a base color. The base color is the color you want to build your theme around. Then play around by moving the color markers to see how your theme changes. The slider bar under the color wheel controls the color brightness.
Creating Themes from an Image
Click on Create > From an Image > a default photo and color theme appear to get you started.
Click and drag on each of the circular markers on the image to alter the color theme. You can also upload one of your own images or browse for a Flickr photo.
Click Select a Mood to explore by color atmosphere:
Colorful > Bright > Muted > Deep > Dark > Custom
Themes Created by the Online Community
Themes can be private or shared publicly with the online community too. Search for Themes by tag words, title, creator, or hex color. Using tags (descriptive keywords) allows others to search, comment on and rate your themes easily.
Quickly bring up a group of shared swatches by choosing Most Popular, Highest Rated or Random.
After signing in with your Adobe ID, you’ll see three icons allowing you to add a selected theme to Favorites/delete theme from Favorites, download the theme as an Adobe Swatch Exchange or make changes and view color values.
Selected themes can be downloaded as a JPG, GIF, PNG or BMP file.
Under the Mykuler section you’ll find –
Themes > click here to find themes you created and saved.
Favorites > if you’ve saved themes created by others as your favorites, click here to find them.
Loading Downloaded Themes
In Photoshop CS2 and CS3, make your Swatches palette window visible (Window > Swatches) click on the arrow button located at the upper right of the panel to reveal the pop-up menu. Click Load Swatches and go to the .ase file downloaded on your desktop. Open the .ase file and your colors will appear in the Swatches palette.
For Photoshop CS4 and 5, choose Window > Extensions > Kuler to find the Kuler panels.
I’ve touched on some of the main highlights at Kuler. Hope you’ll go explore this great free resource when you need a bit of color inspiration for your next project.