Fashion · University

Colour Palettes

During the first few weeks of the course, we focused a lot on colour (amongst other aspects) and how to communicate it to the client/consumer. I’ve already posted about our first uni group project about colour communication (Monochrome: Confident Androgyny) but I realised I never posted about our first experimentation with colour palettes using Photoshop.

Before FCP, I only understood the very basic tools on Photoshop but what I like about our course is we get weekly lecture and seminar tutorials on how to use it from the very beginning. I know some course mates are already very experienced in using the program and it can get tedious but it really benefits someone like me who’s basic skills are rusty and need refreshing and of course, needs more knowledge about design programs.

Colour is one of the most important components of design and so as a result, it forms a pivotal part of the fashion industry from buying, styling, co-ordinating to selecting, forecasting and analysing. When communicating, promoting and even developing brands, the research on colour information is very important. So from millions of colours, experts and fashion industry have to edit and narrow down the final selection.

These choices are based on these factors:

  • Cultural – gender, age, politically, geographically etc.
  • Historical – era, association, provenance etc.
  • Social – life style, mood, attitude etc.

Colour Strip

By using the rectangle marquee tool, eyedropper tool and paint bucket tool, we produced a simple colour palette.

We were tasked with finding an image which we like the colours of, and I found the images from my Pinterest board.

  1. Selection – first we selected between 3-10, 5 being a good starting point from which you add and subtract. I ended up having 7 colours for the photo above.
  2. Sequence/Relationship – which colour sit next to which colour? We had to align the colours based on warm/cool, light/dark.
  3. Proportion – We had to consider the proportion of the colours, from the entire range all being equal to some of the colours being more dominant already. Usually warm colours go forward while cooler colours recede.

After my initial palette, I decided to create another one below.

Colour Strip 1


One of our lecturers informed us about ColorSnap, a really great website that instantly turn any picture into a palette using over 1,500 paint colours.

I tried uploading our group’s monochrome final photo and below are the results, or the colour palette ColorSnap generated.


I recently discovered a talented photographer called Paolo Roversi (check out my pinterest board dedicated to him) and I loved his complex, muted colour palettes he use for his photographs. So below are an example of his work and by using ColorSnap again, created another colour palette.


I especially adore the mobile app because it allows you to move around and choose specifically the colours you want included in the colour palette.



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