Online Software

What’s the best web colour picker?

Colour picker
Explosion of colour: find out how to pick a hue

It sounds almost ludicrous to say it, but people are still ‘inventing’ new colours. So what happens if you see a bold new colour on the web and decide you’d like to use it on your site or in graphical creations? What’s the best web colour picker?

Colour picker: why now?

I decided to write this post after reading a Creative Bloq post about Pantone creating the “world’s most unignorable colour”. How could you NOT read an article with that headline?

The article explains how Pantone was commissioned by United Way – a network of Canadian non-profits dedicated to helping improve people’s lives – to create a new hue that couldn’t be ignored for their advertising campaigns.

If you’ve ever wondered how a new colour is created, Pantone has created a video demonstrating the process which you can see here.

The colour Pantone created is called Unignorable and there’s a website dedicated to it here. Colours can’t be copyrighted as such (although if you set up an airline with a striking orange colour, for example, expect to hear from EasyJet’s lawyers), so what if you take a fancy to a colour such as Unimaginable and want to use it yourself?

The best web colour picker

The best colour picker I’ve found is ColorZilla, which is a small plugin for the Chrome browser (which you can also use in Vivaldi, by the way).

Once installed, you simply visit the website containing the colour of your choice, click on ColorZilla’s Colour Picker in the browser’s menu bar and click on area of the page containing that colour.

It will copy the colour’s hexadecimal colour code to your clipboard, allowing you to re-use the colour in art software or on your own web pages.

Using the new Gutenberg editor in WordPress, for example, I can change the background colour of this text block to match Unignorable by entering that hexadecimal value (#FC5138) into the editor.

If I’m using an art application, such as Photoshop, I can set up a new document with Unimaginable as the background colour by entering the same value into Photoshop’s colour picker, as shown below.

There are other colour pickers out there if you don’t use Chrome. The Imagecolorpicker.com website lets you upload an image and then pick a colour from it, which is slightly more convoluted than the ColorZilla plugin, but achieves much the same effect.

Now read this: why are most social media sites blue?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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