Creating Custom Color Palettes in OS X

When it comes to design, Mac beats the competition hands-down. Not only is this true for the high dollar design studios creating slide decks, video and printed material for commercial use, but it's also true for moms and dads designing bake sale flyers, block party announcements and soccer fundraiser advertisements for home and recreation. Good design should include consistency, but not at the cost of your sanity.

You've been there before... you find the perfect shade of blue (or orange or red) that you want to use over and over and over again, but it can be a pain to replicate it. This is where the color palette (built-in to OS X) can really help to make your life easier.

The color palette is a system-wide utility. This means that when you customize your palette in one app, it looks exactly the same in all apps on your system. Customizing your color palette is simple. First, you will want to expand the lower portion (where the white boxes are located) to reveal more empty white boxes. Next, mix colors to find the one you want to use over and over again. Once you have the perfect color, simply drag and drop that color into one of the white boxes below. To see exactly how this works, I've created a short video for you:

If you want to overwrite a pre-defined block with another color, just drag a new color on top of the old color, and it will replace it. That applies for white as well (in case you want to clean things up a bit).

As you can see from my own palette, I have six colors that I use quite often, and these are very specific shades of those colors. I also have two variations of each color... one light and one darker, so that when I create a gradient, I am consistent.

Now that you know how to customize your color palette, let's see what you can do!

Posted on June 10, 2014 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.