Use Your Favorite Films To Create Your Colour Palettes

Ben Groulx
Jul 06, 2015

Using Film as Inspiration When Creating Colour Palettes

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When coming up with colour palettes and themes for projects, oftentimes designers can be limited due to brand guidelines. But when we get the freedom to come up with original colours palettes, looking elsewhere for inspiration can be fun and interesting.

Film is an excellent place to draw inspiration. Looking to movies with famous cinematographers, like Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki, opens up a whole world of beautiful colour combinations and palettes that have incredibly powerful emotional responses.

There exists a myriad of colour extractor out there -- a quick Google search yields 60,000,000+ results --  but my favourite is Adobe Color CC (once Kuler). The web app lets you switch between colour styles, such as "bright" or "muted" to pick a series of colours in a certain style.

The following images were created using Adobe Color CC, and show some wonderful palettes taken directly from film stills.

Colour In Film: The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
© Fox Searchlight Pictures

Colour In Film: Hugo
Hugo (2011)
© Paramount Pictures

Colour In Film: Brave
Brave (2012)
© Walt Disney Studios

Colour In Film: Skyfall
Skyfall (2012)
© MGM/Columbia Pictures

Colour In Film: Her
Her (2013)
© Warner Bros. Pictures

Colour In Film: Under the Skin
Under the Skin (2013)
© Film4

Colour In Film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
© Columbia Pictures

By looking in places outside of your usual areas, you open yourself up to seeing so many interesting and inspiring combinations. Film is one of those areas that can help you. Do you have any colour palettes inspired by movies? Something that evokes a strong emotional response or tone?

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