Getting Started with ColorImpact

This tutorial will take you through the basic steps of creating a color scheme. We recommend that you open the program, and try each step as we go along.

Step 1 - Selecting a Color Harmony

To create a color scheme, start by pressing F3 to select the color harmonies mode.

For this tutorial we will use the triadic color harmony. Triadic color schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated colors.

Set the Color Harmony drop down list to Triad.

Also make sure that the Color Wheel is set to Artistic.

property inspector

Step 2: Selecting a Base Color

The next step is to select a base color. The base color is used as the starting point when calculating the color harmonies.

The base color could be the color of your company logo, a color that communicates the underlying message of your design, the eye color of your spouse, or simply a color that you find pleasing.

There are several ways in which you can select the base color. For this tutorial, we will use the interactive color wheel. Click and hold the left mouse button inside the color picker. As you move the mouse, you should see the color swatches on the right change according to the selected color.

base color

We will use a bright orange as the base color. Adjust the color wheel until you get a saturated orange.

Tip: If you would like to get exactly same results as in this tutorial, type in #EBBE37 in the hex value field, and press the <enter> key.

The below color scheme should now be displayed in the work area.

triadic scheme

Step 3: Add the Color Schemes to the Palette

trash can

Make sure the color palette is empty. (You can clear the color palette by clicking the trash can.)

copy to palette
Copy the color scheme to the palette by clicking the copy to palette button on the property inspector.

You should now have the following three colors in the palette:

color palette

These three colors constitute a triad, and make up a well balanced bright color scheme.

Step 4: Extend the Color Scheme by Adding Variations

For most purposes, three colors will be enough. Combined with black and white you can use this color scheme for logos, brochures, banners, PowerPoint presentations etc.

When you design web pages, however, you may need a larger palette to include background color, hyperlink colors, body text color, title colors etc. So, let's add a few more colors to make an extended palette for web use.

Press F6 to enter color variations mode.

Property inspector

If the color variations panel contains any colors, you should first clear it by pressing the clear button in the property inspector.

Select variation type less saturated & lighter.

Variation strength should be set to 1.00 and steps to 16.

Right-click on the yellow swatch in row 14 and select add row to palette from the popup menu.

Add light colors

Step 5: Add a few Dark Shades to Complete your Color Scheme

We will also add a few dark colors to enhance your design further. Select variation type 'darker'.

Right-click on the yellow swatch in row 8 and select add row to palette from the popup menu.

Add dark shades

Step 6: Test how the Colors Work Together

Press F8 to activate the test patterns.

Select the Web Page 01 template.

You can now drag colors from the color palette to the various sections in the web page to test your color scheme.

Test pattern

Step 7: Copy the Complete Color Scheme to Another Program

To complete the task, you can now copy the color scheme to another program. There are several ways to do this. For this tutorial, we will select Copy Special from the edit menu. Set the columns selector to '3' and press the 'Copy' button.

Copy colors

This copies your color scheme to the clipboard, and you can now paste the complete color scheme bitmap image into your favorite design program like Photoshop, Fireworks, Corel Draw, Illustrator, Freehand, Flash etc.

You can also copy the color scheme into a Microsoft Word document, a PowerPoint presentation etc.

Color Scheme

Tip: With the color palette pasted into Photoshop or Fireworks, you can use the eye drop tool to pick the colors from the swatches.