As a designer, I spend a fair amount of time playing around with colors and combining them. While many artists and designers get their inspiration from photos (see: Unsplash‘s beautiful collections), I sometimes get frustrated with this method. Even a great photo might not have a clear palette that represents its subjects, and if it does, it’s hard to keep track of fresh combinations for the next time your project calls for it. I decide that it’s time to take a closer look at that curate color and find one to incorporate into my workflow.

In this article, I’m going to look at the design and functionality of 3 websites that showcase color palettes for artists and designers: Design Seeds, Coolors, and Color Hunt.

In short, these 3 sites are tailored towards different goals. While Design Seeds is focused on providing inspiring imagery, Coolors is more about different ways to adjust your own color palettes, and Color Hunt is about showcasing a carefully curated collection. Coolors is more convenient as a design tool, but Color Hunt gets huge bonus points for the thoughtful design.

In Corner #1: Design Seeds

Two menu bars? And the collection of palettes are in “Blog”? Oh why, Design Seeds?

Design Seeds celebrates the beauty of nature and everyday life through color palettes from curated Instagram photos.

The Good:

  • The front page has clear CTA, with a preview of the palette format.
  • The page of the color palettes collection: An uncluttered 2-column grid brings focus to the photos and encourages the eyes to travel down. I like how the photos bring context to the palettes, and HEX codes are available on the same page.
  • The site allows you to search for palettes by color and by collection, such as “Heavenly Hue” or “Flora”.

The Bad:

  • Without the loud hero image from their front page, I couldn’t find my way to their color palettes collection as it is labelled an indistinct “Blog”.
  • The double menus are confusing to navigate.
  • The position of the HEX code under each palette takes up a lot of space.
  • It’s impossible to view more than 1 palette at once, so there is a lot of scrolling.
  • User is 100% passive and can’t interact with the color palettes.

Overall: Like a photo book, Design Seeds is a great site to view color palettes with a natural theme, but it remains more of an inspiration source than a design tool. Be ready to weed through pages of palettes if you have something specific in mind.

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