Using Adobe Kuler

By   |  Stashed in Graphic Design

If your working on a project and you can’t get over some creative block (we’ve all been there) a good place to start is to find an effective color theme. For example when designing a logo it is wise to keep the number of a colors to a maximum of two (many times one is enough). Let’s say you want to use a nice deep red, but need that secondary color to put the logo over the top. You can go to Adobe Kuler and set that deep red as your base color and find the perfect complimentary color for your logo.

There are many other places you can go to help you with this, but Kuler is by far my favorite. Kuler is a free web hosted application that can also be downloaded as a desktop app (you will also need to download Adobe Air). It can be found in Adobe’s increasingly big and more useful collection of products for testing and development. Visit Adobe Labs for more details.

How to use Adobe Kuler

You can create from a color (like what I spoke about above), from a picture, or from an existing theme. Play around with all three methods, you can come up with some awesome results, and share the theme for other users to find, rate and download. In this post I would like to focus on creating a theme from a picture.

Creating a Theme from an Image

  • Go to the Adobe Kuler site.
  • Create an Adobe account, if you don’t already have one. Sign in. If you don’t sign in, you can’t save your theme for use in Photoshop, Illustrator, etc…
  • Click on Create
  • Click From an Image
  • Upload your image that you’d like to use

Here is the image I used:

Flowers for Theme

  • You can see your results at the bottom of the screen.
  • You can change the mood to: colorful, bright, muted, etc… (play around till you get a theme you like)
  • Now add a title and some tags, to help describe your theme
  • Click save
  • The color theme will now be saved in the mykuler portion of your site for you to use when your signed in, it has also been saved for other people to view, rate and download as long as you kept it public.

How to use your new color theme

Kuler Theme

  • Click on download this theme as shown above. This will save your color theme as a .ase file. You can then use that file as color swatches in Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • To use this theme in Photoshop, navigate to your color swatches folder and place the .ase file in that folder. If you are a Windows user, that folder is most likely located in this directory structure: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Presets\Color Swatches.
  • Now when you open Photoshop and go to your swatches window you will have all your new color swatches.

This is a great way to get a nice color theme, and to learn more about which colors work together.

About the Author

Andrew is a primary contributer for MyInkBlog. He is a full time web developer for Niagara University. When he's not working there, he's a blogger, twitter'er, wordpress'er, silverstripe advocate, blessed father and husband.

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