Color schemes aren't technical, really, are they? You just pick what you like, right? Ah, not so fast. Color choice on your site can make or break how your site is received by it's audience. Clash and you'll drive visitors away with a headache from trying to read your red text on a blue background.
What you can do: use a color scheme tool to test drive your color combination. These online tools make it easy (and fun) to try out all sorts of combinations. Some allow you to use an image as the basis for your scheme, others let you play with variations of colors, the color wheel and more.
Here's 5 color scheme tools to help you generate a color palette for your site:
Get a color palette based on an image upload or image url – or just browse those already uploaded. This one is fun to play with and I really like how it picks the colors out of the image.
Adobe's online tool for color. Fun to browse through other's submissions. View by most popular, highest rated, or random. You can download these palettes, for use in Adobe CS2 & CS3.
pick a color scheme from selections from images found on flickr, your own uploaded image or colors from specific websites. You pick from the colors found within the image.
Generate from an image. Upload an image and this tool generates several color schemes: light, medium, dark and a complete color selection.
Love this, choose a color and you can preview a page example – a complete mockup page using either a light or dark background.
Color influences mood and sends a message, tells a story – and if your story being told by your color choice doesn't match up with what you're trying to accomplish on your site – well you just made your job that much harder. Color symbolism is a huge subject on it's own, we'll leave that subject for another day.
Once you've pinned down your color scheme – then you can provide those colors to your web designer or plug them into your css yourself. Have fun exploring colors!