Colormoo: A Color Palette Generation Tool

A common problem throughout my graphic design and branding projects is finding a good color palette. It might be that I have little training in graphic design or something that needs to be developed over time, but I couldn’t find a system that worked consistently. Exploring techniques became a mini obsession. Moreover, as a computer science student, I felt like there had be an algorithmic solution out there.

This question eventually became the subject of my senior thesis. After much research on algorithms for generating color palettes, I built a django app called Colormoo. Initial feedback on the tool was great. I even made the front page of hacker news! Ultimately, the usage data reveals interesting trends about how people select colors. 

colormoo

For the full research and analysis, my paper is available online. For a taste, here is the abstract:

Selecting one color can be done with relative ease, but this task becomes more difficult with each subsequent color. Colormoo is an online tool aimed at solving this problem. We implement three algorithms for generating color palettes based off of a starting color. Data is collected for each palette that is generated. Our analysis reveals two of the algorithms are preferred, but under different circumstances. Furthermore, we find that users prefer palettes containing colors that are compatible, but not too similar. With refined heuristics, we believe these techniques can be extended and applied beyond the field of graphic design alone.