Partly due the “flat” trend, an increasing number of designers are painting web pages with sweeps of pure color. Unfortunately most of the digital tools designers use have yet to catch up to this development, continuing to trap color in tiny “paint pots”, bars, or wheels. What many modern designers need are large responsive vistas of color that we can compare and contrast, with as few controls and widgets as possible.

Thankfully, a few tools have stepped up to this challenge:

Color, by HailpixelScreenshot of the Hailpixel color chooser, is probably the most minimized of all the tools here: just one just screen of color, with a beautiful, instinctive UI, sharable URLs, and support for RGB and HSL color. starts off from a similar interface, but works in more advanced controls for schemes and themes based on established color theory. It also has more sophisticated export tools, with the ability to output your color scheme as a PNG or LESS.

Piknik uses the same idea as Color, but integrates a neat use of the scroll wheel to change the luminosity of the current color. Unfortunately, the scroll function didn’t seem to recognize my wireless mouse, and the UI requires Flash to copy the final color value.

If you want color tools with more traditional UI, I’ve covered those too.

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