#13 Proportional color palettes

I‘ve been theming for a long time (orchestrating color combinations, type selection, symbols, etc) but I learned something new about “proportioned palettes”. A new perspective on color. The author of Handout (PDF) demonstrates his method for developing a consistent and large color palette for branding. Great stuff.

I can also vouch his basis of predicting “future color trends” really works. One only need watch the fashion industry in the fall runways and then see how the red-carpet celebrities respond in the spring. It’s that simple! That cycle has just finished. What was the result? He says, “Emerald” is the color for 2013.

PS- Just looked at the Oscar ceremony dresses – not an emerald one in the bunch? Oh, well.

Example of Simple Palettes:

From these 2 image analysis of colors, we don’t necessarily get an idea of the hierarchy of the palettes.

Examples of proportional palettes:

These show dominant and subordinate colors but are not sampled from images. They are experimental.


Above is an attempt to show proportional and color wheel relationships.

And the following are attempts to generate a palette from three or more images:







When the author of these 6 combination proportional palettes was asked in an interview what he meant by high, middle, and low note inspiration, he couldn’t describe or define what those meant. Obviously, the labels are cross-sensory metaphor trying to relate color to sounds – a subconscious parameter or matter of artistic perception.