Essential Resources: Tools and references for working with colour

This is part of a series of posts to share with readers a useful collection of some of the most important, effective and practical data visualisation resources.

This post presents a collection of useful tools, resources and references for making the pain of working with colour on your visualisation project – navigating through the minefield of theory and seeking inspiration for that elusive creative spark – that bit easier.

Please note, I may not have personally used all the services, sites or tools presented but have seen sufficient evidence of their value from other sources. Also, to avoid re-inventing the wheel, descriptive text may have been reproduced from the native websites for some resources.

Colour palettes

ColorBrewer: “Colorbrewer 2.0 is an online tool designed to help people select good color schemes for maps and other graphics.”



Every ColorBrewer Scale: “A quick visual reference to every ColorBrewer scale; colors by Cynthia Brewer. Available in CSS and JS format, created by Mike Bostock”



Chroma.js: “Chroma.js is a JavaScript library for working with colors in visualizations. In contrast to many similar libraries it supports advanced color models like CIE Lab and Hue-Chroma-Lightness which are helpful to overcome the traps of equidis­tant HSV col­ors. Also it includes support for color scales and the beautiful palettes by Cynthia Brewer.”



Gregor Aisch’s Color Selector: “For my blog post ‘How To Avoid Equidistant HSV Colors’ I created an interactive color space explorer, also known as ‘color selector’. It also allows to preview a set of linear interpolated equidistant colors.”



HCL Colorpicker: “HCL Colorpicker lets you pick hue, chroma and lightness for data. Built off Gregor Aisch’s demo and color conversion library chroma.js.”



Lch color gradient picker: Creates an array of gradient colour options with different interpolations based on you colour selections.



I Want Hue: Colors for data scientists. Generate and refine palettes of optimally distinct colors.



Color: Move back and forth, up and down and scroll around the screen to build a colour palette.



0to255: “0to255 is a simple tool that helps web designers find variations of any color. Perfect for hovers, borders, gradients, and more.”



ColorExplorer: “Simply put, ColorExplorer is an online toolbox for working with color palettes. Being a little more elaborate, the current site is the result of evolvement on my acclaimed ColorMatch 5K project dating back as far as 2001. With ColorExplorer you can quickly and easily create, manage and evaluate color palettes for use in graphic design, web designs, layouts, and much more.”



Design-Seeds: “Design Seeds are meant to inspire… Find the palettes you love, searching by color value or theme”



COLOURLovers: “COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles… All in the spirit of love.”



Adobe Kuler: “Adobe Kuler lets you capture color inspiration anywhere you find it. Capture colors from a mural, garden, or wherever you happen to be with a snap of your iPhone camera. Browse, create, and customize themes for your designs – all on your phone.”



Theresa-Marie Rhyne’s Viewpoint: “Applying color theory to digital media and visualization. In this blog, we discuss various artists’ theories on color and how to apply these theories to creating digital media, visualizations and collage compositions. We discuss our own personal experiences with applying these theories.”




CheckMyColors: “CheckMyColours is a tool for checking foreground and background color combinations of all DOM elements and determining if they provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits.”



Vischeck: “Vischeck is a way of showing you what things look like to someone who is color blind. You can try Vischeck online- either run Vischeck on your own image files or run Vischeck on a web page. You can also download programs to let you run it on your own computer.”



Color Oracle: “Color Oracle is a free color blindness simulator for Window, Mac and Linux. It takes the guesswork out of designing for color blindness by showing you in real time what people with common color vision impairments will see.”




Colours Across Cultures: “Translating Colours in Interactive Marketing Communications”. A useful report that breaks down the cultural and country-specific responses to and meaning associated with a range of colours.



Online colour challenge: “How well do you see colour? FACT: 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency. Take the online color challenge, based on the official FM100 Hue Test by X-Rite.”



Color.Method: A color matching game.




Data Viz News [19] | Visual LoopAugust 10th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

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