Color stuck? Try the color palette finding technique graphic designers love

On the hunt for the perfect color palette? While there are plenty of color palette generating tools available on the web, there’s nothing quite like curating your very own, unique combination of colors.

One way to do this is through color exploration—a creative approach to generating beautiful color palettes that work for any particular design project.

What is a color exploration?

A color exploration (sometimes called a color study), is an abstract, visual representation of a set of colors, designed for you to see how each color interacts with one another.

It’s a technique many graphic designers like to use for exploring how different color sets work together in various applications.

  1. Grovo Color Study 2: French Fry french fry grovo red yellow
  2. Shape & Color Study abstact color pink shape
  3. Shot Link

How to get started

The good news is, creating a color exploration is fairly simple because there are no hard and fast rules. They can be as simple or as complex as you decide. As you can see in the examples above, every color exploration will look a little different—you can use as many colors as you like, and you can play around with various shapes, textures, and typography to add even more depth.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to exploring color, we’ve got you covered. One of our very own Dribbblers Justin Mezzell created a downloadable color exploration template for Adobe Illustrator so you can simply start dropping in your own color schemes! Check it out:

Color Composition Testing Temp[late color download template

Color Composition Testing Temp[late

by Justin Mezzell

Hey! If you're looking to pressure test some colors and the relationship they have with one another, I threw together a little AI file that you can download and see how they're all working together. Hope it's helpful! You can download the attachment to...

View on Dribbble

Color exploration inspiration

If you’re eager to try your very own color study, here are a handful of beautiful explorations created by graphic designers to inspire you. Use them as inspiration for your next graphic design project, or for your next color study foundation:

  1. Pattern exploration abstract art color geometric illustration mid century paint pattern shape vintage
  2. Color Study bold color fashion modern palette simple theory
  3. Screen Shapes
  4. Pattern 03 art branding bright illustration pattern vector
  5. shape and color exploration fun geometric line modern old school retro shapes sun taco type
  6. Color and Pattern exploration brand branding design flower illustration logo mark minimal nature
  7. Abstract Exploration 02 abstract color composition explore form shape
  8. Exploration color digital illustration pattern
  9. Testing patterns branding circle color color scheme colour geometry minimal palette pattern sea ship
  10. Color Study art collage color composition design graphic study
  11. Mixpanel Events branding design event illustration tech
  12. Morning Doodles black brown color design illustration pink shape shapes texture white
  13. Shape & Color circle color diamond geometric pattern square triangle
  14. Type And Color Exploration clean flat layout minimal simple type typography web website
  15. 7222019 blue bold color design green illustration orange red shape shapes texture vector white yellow

Row 1: Steve Wolf, C.Rowe, Skinny Ships. Row 2: Rogie for Dribbble, Sophia Umansky, Calin Ciobanu. Row 3: Jay Higginbotham, Michelle Lasalvia, Lorena G. Row 4: Cody Paulson, Mike Casebolt for Mixpanel, Cory Uehara. Row 5: Noah Jacobus, Mario Šestak, Cory Uehara.

Find more Inspiration stories on our blog Courtside. Have a suggestion? Contact