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Create A Custom Color Palette

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  • Create A Custom Color Palette

    Create a very flexible custom color palette for use with your Adobe PhotoShop projects. Once created, just open the file and move it off to the side for easy color selections while working in the main window of your project. The palette allows you to view/select the basic colors, monochrome schemes, shades of colors and tints of colors.

    This tutorial was written for any version of Adobe Photoshop that supports layers. You may be able to do the same thing in other programs, but this has not been tested.

    1. Start a new document (5 x 5 inches is fine, white background, 72 DPI)
    2 Add New layer
    3. Using the marquee tool, draw a box and fill with a basic primary color selected from the color picker.
    4.Continue (on the same layer) drawing boxes and filling with different colors. If they overlap, that's fine. (DO include a box filled with 50% gray. You can use the Edit->Fill-50% gray from the menus to get the exact color for that box)

    1. Add New SOLID COLOR adjustment layer. Set the blend mode of this layer to COLOR. When viewed along with the basic palette, this color chip will give you a selection of monochrome colors that compliment the color chip. If you double click the color chip and change the chip color, the monochrome compliments for the new color change as well. This is a great way to choose colors for a themed design. Just use the eyedropper tool to select theme colors.

    1. Add a new layer.
    2 Draw a good sized box with the marquee tool and fill it with default black. Now you will see your color palette in shades of their color. Use the opacity slider to adjust the amount of shade. You can use the Move Tool to reposition the black box over different swatches. Use the eyedropper tool to select the shade you want to use in your design.

    On a new layer, follow the same procedure for "SHADES" but fill the box with default White. Now you have the ability to view/select tints of a color with the eyedropper tool.

    NOTE: You will need to turn off viewing of the shades layer in order to view tints. Turn off viewing the tints layer to view shades. You will need to turn off viewing of the color chip to view shades/tints of your main color palette colors. In other words, just toggle on/off the layers you want to view.

    Save this document as a Photoshop file and place it anywhere on your hard drive. I have put mine in a "Templates and Helpers" folder and added that folder to my Adobe Bridge favorites.

    You may also want to set up a Custom Color Palette of most used PMS color swatches. Just select "CUSTOM LIBRARIES" from the Photoshop color picker and choose the Pantone Solid Coated for process color work. This is a great way to keep PMS color handy and be consistent throughout a project.

    You also have the option to change the color of the default Background layer so that you can view swatches against different background colors in a project.

    Samples below:
    1. Viewing the basic color palette
    2. Viewing the monochrome colors "through" the color chip layer
    3. Viewing shades of the monochromes (color layer and shades turned ON)
    4. Viewing Tints of the basic color palette (shades and color chip layers turned OFF)
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Great, handy, flexible Chart!!! Thank you very much Swampy!!


    • #3
      Nicely done, Dee Dee. This will be of use to many.

      Thanks for this significant contribution.