Photograph of an aggressive figure covered in paint

Design inspiration can (and should) come from any source at all, but there’s something to be said for diving into a rich color palette as a way of kicking off creative work. When I feel the need to do so, my go-to choices include:

ColourLovers, the open alternative to Kuler: a community of designers who contribute their own palettes and patterns, while rating others. The site has vigorous sub-communities for not just web development, but also business, crafts, fashion and print. Colrd is similar to ColorLovers, if somewhat less ambitious.

PinterestPinterest has a burgeoning color collection, including samples and ideas from Pantone. I also like the color collections of Kayla Lamoreaux.

Screenshot of Verlee Pieters Inspiration StreamOther sources: Design Seeds, Color Collective, and the fantastic Inspiration Stream of Verlee Pieters.

Some outside examples: cinematographers will often talk about a movie's palette, but outside of some definitive examples the color mood of film is often hard to put your finger on or replicate. Web Colour Data aims to do the same thing for websites, “slurping” a site's most frequently used colors. Dozens of popular sites are listed as examples. Finally, while it is specialised to just a few colors, I very much enjoyed this scientific determination of “sky blue” in hexidecimal.

Plenty of Colorplenty of color has no hex values: just wonderful, creative examples of color used in art, commercial design, fabrics, interior design and more, given classifications such as objects of desire, colourful places and spaces, and color me happy.

If you have online sources of color inspiration that make you happy, let us know in the comments!

Banner image by Matthias Weinberger, lisenced under Creative Commons.

Enjoy this piece? I invite you to follow me at to learn more.