Creating a Palette From an Image

There are many times that we might want to use an image to create a colour palette. Sometimes this is because we are working from scratch and we are exploring our moodboard for inspiration. Other times it might be because we have fallen in love with an image and we want to extract the colour palette. There might even be times that we are instructed by a client to get the colours from an image for their brand.

Isn’t that what the eye dropper tool is for?

Yeah you can click around with your eye dropper tool until you find the colours that you want. However, I think this tool is only useful if you want one or maybe two colours, and you are already sure what those are. If you want a series of different colours or choices, or perhaps you are just looking for inspiration, then this is a longer method, which requires time and patience. Having said that, it is quite therapeutic, like colour ASMR.

How about rasterizing an image?

This was my go to, it was shown to us in class and I have been using this a lot to find starting points when creating a palette. It’s great because you can control the size of the pixels of colour in real time. So you can see if you need smaller or larger squares giving you more or less colour options respectively.

Are you telling me there is another way?

I have been finding more and more confidence in using photoshop. And last night I wanted to build a colour palette from a specific photo. I had forgotten the steps for pixelating the image, so I searched the internet and found a super quick video on how to build a colour palette from an image. And this method requires fewer steps. It was particularly useful in this scenario as the image I was using only had a few colours anyway. This is using the indexed colour tool. You can control how many colours you want to extract, a bit like making larger or smaller squares with the pixelate method above, however the only downside is you do not have a real time preview with this tool. So I think there are real case needs for both.

If you want to learn how to use the colour index tool, check out this YouTube tutorial

Singled (2019)Create Color Palette from Image in Photoshop – Quick Photoshop Tutorial

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