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 a particular 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

  2. Shape & Color Study

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 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

  2. Color Study

  3. Screen Shapes

  4. Pattern 03

  5. shape and color exploration

  6. Color and Pattern exploration

  7. Abstract Exploration 02

  8. Exploration

  9. Testing patterns

  10. Color Study

  11. Mixpanel Events

  12. Morning Doodles

  13. Shape & Color

  14. Type And Color Exploration

  15. 7222019

Row 1:
Steve Wolf,
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.
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