Picking colors is hard, ya’ll. Whenever I’m creating visual materials for my library I often spend way too much time trying to find colors that are interesting but not overwhelming, and more importantly, look good together. Before I know it I’ve spent the the better part of an hour deciding on just the right shades of grey and orange. It’s a problem.

Two web-based tools I often turn to in the pursuit of color perfection are COLOURLovers and Colorzilla.


COLOURLovers is a great source for interesting palettes, patterns and just plain pretty colors. For the more design adventurous, you can also create your own patterns on this site or download shapes to create new patterns in Photoshop or Illustrator.


Colorzilla is a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. It basically gives you a Photoshop-like color picker that you can use with anything you see online. Browsing the web and run across the perfect shade of green? Use Colorzilla and pick it! You can than use that color just about anywhere. Colorzilla also comes with a CSS generator, which I have yet to use, but seems really handy for developing gradients and color shading on websites. I use Colorzilla on an almost daily basis and it has been an invaluable tool for me as I continue to design and re-design my library’s website.

What are your favorite color-related design aids?