A challenge we all face, sooner or later, is that of choosing a palette of colors to work from – whether we’re painting the exterior of our home, or putting together a scrapbook – color is unavoidable. Website design is no different. The goal is to achieve a range of key colors that can be assigned to different elements and repeated throughout the site’s design. When all is well, your colors will be harmonious and complementary; yet, this is exactly what many of us may find daunting. This weeks helpful tip draws from Nature as a wonderful source of color combinations that work well together.

I call this technique “color-chords” and it works like this: Find yourself a few natural landscape photographs, the colors of which you like, (preferably not modified or “boosted” after-the-fact) and import them into your favorite image editing software. Begin sampling colors from the image until you have a satisfactory range of warm and cool, light and dark. You may want to think in terms of primary and accent colors for both the warm and cool spectrum. Below are two example images…

Note: The changing seasons, and the times of day, will each yield quite different palettes from the same motif. You may find exactly what you need; or, you may have just discovered a starting place. In any event, the colors in nature almost invariably occur as harmonic parts of a larger whole; and that’s an important part of good design.

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