Put Some Colour in Those Cheeks

“There are so many relationships and hidden secrets within the paintings that color analysis can reveal.” – Drew Trujillo


I’m a freelance writer, not an artist, so while I get a gut reaction to rooms and websites when I first see them, I’m not exactly qualified to do a proper analysis and find what colour combinations work best together. That’s where useful resources like COLOURlovers come into the picture. Proudly Canadian (there be a “U” in colour, don’t you know), COLOURlovers requested a ReviewMe review from John just before the 50% off sale ended, so here it is.

They say that they are fighting “for love in the colour revolution”, providing us lowly not-so-artsy types with a number of unique shades and palettes. We shall see!

More Colours Than the Rainbow

Forget “every colour of the rainbow,” this site has more shades of red and blue than you can shake a stick at. In an effort to avoid drawing attention away from all those fun palettes — Gatorade, Electrons, and Temptation are some of the more eye-catching names — the predominant color scheme for the site is a dull grey. It’s almost a contradiction in many ways, providing such a drab looking backdrop to such vibrantly-themed colours.

As an active blogger and web publisher, it can be tough to find just the right set of colours that just “fit” together. I really like how they include all the hexadecimal colour codes. This way, implementing the scheme into my own website is so much easier. No more guessing.

COLOURlovers has a community of “lovers“, which is what they affectionately call their members. It comes off a little dirty at times (I should really get my head out of the gutter), because they have headings like “latest lover comments.” Starts to sound like a scene out of Eyes Wide Shut.

Words, words, words…

Obviously, the main appeal of this site is that it can help you choose a good colour combination for whatever project you’re working on, be it redecorating the baby’s room or drafting up a banner to get John Chow to vibrate, but there’s a small handful of useful articles and interviews to read as well.

I would love to see more of these. Good content is the key, after all. Even the evil John Chow can learn a thing or two about expanding beyond the “everybody loves me” blue (which, coincidentally, is the second most popular colour tag on the site, trailing behind pink). The Interview section is also pretty interesting.


Does It Work?

I don’t think that COLOURlovers is the kind of website that I’d visit regularly, because if I decide on a particular theme or scheme for my website, I’m done with it for a while. If you’re in a more artsy industry, however, things would be quite different. There’s even a job bank for creative gigs, like Interactive Art Director and Flash Programmer.

Navigating the site is a cinch as the animated panel at the top gets you around with no trouble at all. Moving their “welcome” message from the middle to the top of the main page might be useful, though, so that first time visitors can immediately recognize what they’re looking at.

Put some colour in those cheeks. I love where this revolution is going.

74 thoughts on “Put Some Colour in Those Cheeks”

  1. While there is reason to leave a scheme alone, there is to me reason also to change something once in a while. The title banner, for example, might change seasonally or some other thing, like links or visited links.
    I wanted to see the site before talking. I am both a colorist painter and a writer. I thought I could see what kind of site to expect from the schemes displayed up front, and it is my prejudice that I wouldn’t even bother with some of them that seemed too fluffy or too staid.
    That said, when I started I wanted to reflect the amazing colors of where I live because my blog is a lot to do with where I live. Those colors work in my world but look stupid on a website.
    Think what you are doing, bloggers. If your site looks messy I am not going to believe your info will be cohesive. If it screams Vegas, you won’t convince me that it may contain weighted thoughts. If it is bare bones and looks like it came straight out of a 1979 word processor, I can force myself to read it only if someone I respect has said there’s important stuff in there.
    Visual medium, visual rules.

    1. I agree, some of the combinations in the templates don’t make much sense, but I guess that’s up to your personal tastes!

      I think that editing a theme is a good idea – it helps personalize it since, chances are, hundreds of other blogs are using it…

      1. They might make more sense if you were selling underwear! 😆 I expect fluff on Figleaves or Victoria’s Secret.
        Probably staid might work for a funeral home or someone who sells annuities. Don’t plan on Googling those for a while yet.

        1. Well, I guess the templates could open your eyes to color combinations that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own!

      2. Ashish Mohta says:

        If the interface is good and they give out the colour code it will be easy.Else just getting the names of colour its of no use

  2. ian says:

    Us people from Australia spell colour the right way as well :razz:. Though these days I spell like an american.

    1. ilker says:

      American spelling makes more sense..

      1. Marc says:

        Not to Canadians… 😎

        Sidenote: John, it turns out I’m using these smilies waaaaaay more than I had originally expected. I think you should keep this plugin contrary to what I had originally commented many days ago.

        1. Actually, I agree with you there. I though that would be annoying but I am using them all of the time!

      2. I agree! Who the heck uses the “u” anyways? Come on now guys, let’s keep things simple here, this is the English language, not Canglish :mrgreen:

      3. “American spelling makes more sense..”

        Um, as an American, I have to disagree with you there!

        American English is a combination of some many other languages that it makes it so confusing at time!! 😡

      4. derrich says:

        Yep. No “u” in color. BTW, this is my favourite poust this weuek. 😉

      5. Ashish Mohta says:

        there is always a fight between american English and British ones.I like American one though they dont make any sense some way

    2. Well, for exams that we have to take, we learn the Queen’s English. Example, Cambridge O’ and A’ level exams.

      Anyway, I am influenced by both, and my spelling can be a little mixed at times. By the way, the spell checker on websites are American or British?

    3. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to spell. Many words of different variation are continuing to be accepted into the dictionary nowadays.

      1. Ashish Mohta says:

        they mostly are American, Britishers got to do something

  3. wpthemes says:

    Been using colourlover since late 2005 and have used it alot especially when it comes to designing templates and logo..just to get that perfect color combo.

    1. Never thought about using it for a logo, that makes sense to me. Hmm… the possibilities!

    2. Ashish Mohta says:

      I dobt bother much about the looks the better the simple.Site designs are in trouble with the advent of RSS

  4. ilker says:

    I choose my color combinations according to the . It makes a combo guaranteed to be the best.

    1. ilker says:

      Hmm.. no links in comments on this blog? I wanted to say “Golden Ratio”


      1. You have just gotten the link down. There you go!

      2. Ashish Mohta says:

        There is always a better idea to choose colour which is browser compatible.I face some on my blog in IE

  5. Well, sometimes it hard to explain, but it is the ‘feeling’ in which we determine nice color combination, according to our taste and preference.

    1. It actually has all been explained by social scientists. There are certain colors that make people universally feel one way or the other. There are others that work slightly differently in one culture versus another.

      This stuff is published and if you want to understand it, you can read it.

      When an artist (or other) wants to get across a feeling of malaise or sickness, he knows what works. If an architect wants you to spend more money in an interior, he knows what works. If instead he wants you to feel hungry, that’s different colors.

      It has nothing to do with gender, either, as your feeling that pink is girly is social training.

      1. Well, who says pink is girly? 😉 Definitely not. Yea I do agree that a variety of color combination can get people into different ‘moods’. Much like music, if you like to say so.

        1. Ashish Mohta says:

          hah they dont hog the pink.Make it fit and gurls will say man you beat us

  6. Daniel says:

    looks like a useful tool, i will check it out

  7. Marc says:

    I’ve relied on paint suppliers for my colour schemes, but this website looks like a whole step beyond that. Thanks for the review.

    Also, the reviews have been improving, congrats on hitting your groove with this particular audience 😉

    1. I rely on my wife – it’s amazing what she can see in her head… She can just visualize it, while I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it!

      1. HMTKSteve says:

        Mine too…

        She says she sees me up on a ladder painting the house… Funny how I have trouble seeing that…

        1. Ashish Mohta says:

          bets is to take a review from someone else.You will get so many points you cant even think of

      2. Marc says:

        My wife’s also much better at colour selection than I am. I just hate to bother her all the time. I usually go out on my own and give it a shot, then run it past her to see if it works. I then get a few suggestions that usually end up making it appealing 🙂

        1. It wouldn’t be a bother to my wife – she would kill me if I made a paint decision without her!

    2. Michael Kwan says:

      Thanks Marc. It goes to show you how far constructive criticism can go. I read each and every comment you guys made on my previous reviews. 🙂

      1. Marc says:

        That’s a ton of work Michael 🙂 I admire the effort. It shows though, keep up the good work.

  8. For the American people… http://www.COLORlovers.com 😉

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Awesome. They bought that URL too (it forwards to the correct spelling though 😉 )

      1. That’s actually a great idea! I wonder how many other domains forward there….

        1. Ashish Mohta says:

          lol its seems like even if you type your name u will have a site.Type a slang and look u will get one on that too

  9. Hey John. Actually, colour (I’m Australian 😉 ) plays a MASSIVE part in our software too. You’d be amazed at just how much you can increase sales of a product or service just by changing colors you use in the logo, for text, buttons, etc. Colour is a very powerful psychological manipulator and if you want to succeed in business you really need to use it to your advantage. Why do you think Microsoft spent millions coming up with the blue they used to use for their default wallpaper colour? Same thing… 😆

    1. HMTKSteve says:

      Well I do know that red cars go faster…

  10. Anna says:

    Is is appropriate to advertise and link to someone else’s website in the middle of a paid review? I don’t think it is. I think it is tacky and completely inappropriate.

    I’m sure Kumiko appreciated it but I wonder if the advertiser that paid for that review liked it? Maybe you had permission from the advertiser and I’m completely off the wall. If so, my apologies.

    1. You may have realized that there are other links which include the writer’s and John’s internal links as well.

      I believe if the links are not used excessively, and not draw too much attention from the site, it looks and feels fine. Perhaps the one with the “right” to complain is the person who paid for the review himself.

      1. What’s wrong with using a link to another site during a paid review? That link is not a competitor!

        1. I presume she means that if one paid for a review of his/her site, it should be solely focused on the site alone. It doesn’t have to be another competitor to qualify.

          1. Michael Kwan says:

            She, referring to Anna.

      2. Michael Kwan says:

        Good point. I throw in the odd link in my own blog posts from time to time, and so long as it doesn’t detract from the main message of the post, I don’t feel it’s a problem. (Especially if it’s not from a competitor)

    2. Ashish Mohta says:

      Thats a good point.They will be more annoyed if some other links come up.Better link their own website.They have full of information on the website why not use them

  11. I can see myself using this in my next blog design for sure! Choosing color schemes is one of the toughest parts I think for a blog or site layout for that matter, atleast for me it is. I am no artist, but hey, I can draw stick figures? 🙄

  12. Great review. I found a few colour schemes to use for my next project.


  13. Gregg says:

    Ive used sites like that before. As for matching a color, I just use photoshop and the eyedropper tool to get the hex code.

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      I like paint.net anytime better if you dont want to go hifi

  14. Will says:

    Since I’m on a mac, iPick always helps me out when I need a matching colour.

    Other than that, I think that over time you get a feel for what matches and what looks appeasing.

  15. HMTKSteve says:

    I recently changed the entire look of my blog and I spend about a week working on the color scheme.

    If I go to a blog with a bad color scheme and good content I’ll check for an RSS feed. If they do not have one I will not be back.

    1. Very good points – especially if the feed isn’t styled (if they’re not using FeedBurner).

      1. Jez says:

        Does that matter as a reader though??

  16. Paul J. says:

    American english is the best form of the language in my opinion. Also american accent, aside from those southern americans, is the best for the english language.

    1. derrich says:

      Whut choo tawkin’ bout, Pawl? Ya cayn’t stand mah Southrn drawl? Ak-choo-lee (actually) I don’t got one, but tah-pin (typing) lahk thee-s is purdy fuhn. Y’all shud trah eeit.

    2. How is it the best?! I’m an American, so don’t flame me – but there are so many rules that apply, in specific situations and not others!

      My kid is in elementary school and I’m relearning all of the rules by proxy – there are so many!

      1. Ashish Mohta says:

        No rules it depends how you say, if they say the same meaning there is no war on languages

    3. Jez says:

      I think youll find the UK make the best use of English, America merely extended the capacity of the language for bull**** and nonsense :mrgreen: 😈 not trying to start a flame war here 🙄

  17. bryan glanz says:

    Is it just me or was the post long. I tihnk Michael is an awesome writer but I feel that sometimes little is a lot better? Still love both blogs(john and mikes)

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Thanks Bryan for the compliment. In terms of the length, I was following John’s guideline of “700-1000 words”. 🙂

      1. Ashish Mohta says:

        you mean keeping the post between 700 to 10009 words?

        1. Michael Kwan says:

          Maybe I should write a 10,000 word piece and see how people react 😈

          1. Leftblank says:

            Something like ‘hm, I gave up after the first paragraph… too much text for a human being’ 😉

    2. Nope, I feel that it was an average length for a read. Quick to the point with an overall coverage.

  18. Ashish Mohta says:

    Write long but then u divide inti points thats they key.Break into paragraphs list and others.That will be easy

  19. zaki says:

    hmm interesting to have various colours to play with… 😮 😥

  20. Jez says:

    Useful stuff, there are some good color pickers on the peoplestoolbox.com which help generate some nice schemes

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