Choosing a complimentary colour palette

When I first started designing and developing for the Web, CSS was a young but potentially exciting development, despite cross-browser compatibility forcing layout to still be table-based. A much wider colour palette than the standard named HTML colours were suddenly able to be used and this handed designers the ability to start to get really get creative. It also gave non-designers yet another method of making a website look ghastly!

Choosing the right colour palette for your site is one of the fundamentals that will make it stand out from the crowd, but it’s not easy finding the complimentary colours which will set the tone of your site. Fortunately there are many online tools to help you out but my personal favourite is the long-standing and simple-to-use Paletton colour scheme designer tool.

To use this tool, simply choose a colour and copy the HEX (without the hash prefix) and paste it into the ‘Base RGB’ box. You can start mixing your own colours but I find it’s much easier to start by selecting one of the preset modes first – monochromatic or monochromatic with a complimentary colour; adjacent colours; triad or tetrad. What I particularly like is that each colour comes with little blocks within them showing that colour with various hues, potentially providing all the colours you’ll need to build a site.

Here’s this site’s base colour pallet, as provided by the Paletton tool: