Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Happy Hues – Curated colors in context (happyhues.co)
606 points by m1guelpf 66 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 110 comments

I love the approach, however, the palettes all seem to be in the same style. A bit more diversity would be cool.

Any other sites HN could recommend for picking colors? I suck at that.

Colourlovers is a classic I know about, but iirc it is complicated with copyright. https://www.colourlovers.com/

A simple approach I love is just to choose a simple color scheme like Open Colors (https://yeun.github.io/open-color/) and just use colors from there.

There's also this great article: https://refactoringui.com/previews/building-your-color-palet...

both of these links are excellent. i love that open color has sass and i can just use the variables in bootstrap. thank you.

i happen to keep a list of these things! under Color Picking https://github.com/sw-yx/spark-joy

Here is mine if you want to add it !

I like https://coolors.co/ for quickly cycling though options and being able lock certain colors.

That one has an egregious ad floating on top of the palette on mobile and the controls UI is all borked

This seems closer to a set of colors for the terminal which is great when you're looking for swatches that go together for every color but doesn't help you decide which colors to use in your design

This is exactly how I use this - I’ve had the UI palette v1 colours as my terminal colours for almost four years and they’re a solid combination.

I use RGB 16,40,64 as the background.

What do you mean by same style? Like alternating backgrounds and such?

I used Webflow CMS to build it, so I was a little bit limited in the amount of colors I could use unless I wanted to upgrade to the business plan lol.

I don't know how to describe it, sorry. Like as if they are all printed on recycling paper, perhaps? They have a touch of grayness? Or perhaps it is "all pastels", as the other comment said? Sorry I am not artist enough to be able to describe it.

Ah gotcha. Yeah there is definitely a lot of pastel palettes on there. I guess that's what I lean towards. I'll try to add more, non pastel palettes soon :)

All pastels

I made one that gives 12 palettes for any base color: http://strapless.io/

I like https://www.colorsandfonts.com/. It has a lot of color options such as gradients, contrasts, pallets, and has font pairings too.

For maps:

- [ColorBrewer: Color Advice for Maps](http://colorbrewer2.org/#type=sequential&scheme=BuGn&n=3)

I quite like http://colormind.io/

Lately I have been using color.adobe[0] or palx[1] a lot.

[0] https://color.adobe.com

[1] https://palx.jxnblk.com

kuler.adobe.com is only similar if you mean the parent should be browsing the community themes, otherwise it's more like a color picker with optional constraints based on color theory (which are great starting points but won't really guide you to the finish line)

the second link has way too many colors to really be useful

I like the limited choices - it's much less overwhelming, and it's nice to have an opinionated curation.

What about their copyright? Can a palette actually be copyrighted?

Iirc at least they claim copyright - whether it would actually be valid I don't know.

This is incredibly useful for anyone designing a new site from scratch. I think it's quite useful for reimagining the colors of your existing site, too, with one caveat. I'd love to be able to enter some of my own colors - and have your tool suggest a color palette.

Not the easiest feature to add, but would be exceptionally useful. Either way, I love what you do, mackenziechild and have followed your work for years.

You have inspired me over and over to improve DarwinMail [1]. Some of your small design tips have vastly improved the UI of DarwinMail. Thank you so much for all your tutorials, tweets and general design inspiration.

PS: I also love that you were a designer first, and decided to learn how to code too. It's so useful to learn in that order. No wonder your projects are always so brilliant.

[1] https://www.darwinmail.app

Thanks dude, you're too kind

You're welcome buddy

https://coolors.co/ can suggest colors to go with user-entered colors.

No affiliation, just a tool I've used.

A fantastic tool! Thank you for sharing.

The only drawback is that I cannot see the colors on the UI (on a sample website) like I can with Happy Hues. Granted, I can copy them into my website to test out.

I just love how easy it is to use Happy Hues.

> I'd love to be able to enter some of my own colors - and have your tool suggest a color palette.

Not sure whether that's possible with this site, since it was built without code.

It probably _could_ be, but I'd probably have to build (or hire someone to build) some sort of external app / database to manage all that.

A simpler solution I thought about what recreating the layout in Figma or Sketch, then someone could create their own palette simply by tweaking color swatches (and have it auto update on the mockup).

It might be easier to get someone to build you a bookmarklet that uses JS and puts an input on the page.

Do the tools you're using (webflow) not let you put any custom JavaScript on the page?

I don't think it is.

Still an incredibly useful website with a gorgeous design!

I really like the idea. If you are promoting stuff like this though, please please please check to see whether your color schemes meets WCAG contrast guidelines. I took a look at one randomly in the firefox developer edition accessibility tab and there were a large number of contracts flags.

It's a great idea, but soperj is correct. It's a good idea to make sure that things like contrast ratio and colorblind hues are taken into account.

Possibly have notes on certain palettes, indicating their accessibility score.


While I really love the colors and instructive nature of this product, I really dislike the dark oriented color sections. That is to say, I dislike how in a dark mode, it still has large sections of white backgrounds.

If I'm in a dark room, using dark mode and expecting lower light levels, a sudden white backdrop is blinding.

Perhaps these dark themes are intended purely for design, not how best to design a dark mode.. but I'd really appreciate more design around the dark mode.

Honestly, large color changes bother me quite a bit in our software these days. I remember I always hated Slack's light mode because it was a right pane full of white - very bright, and the left pane was a dark mode contact/channel list, very dark. Why? It has always been very distracting to me, and I don't get why people think dark and light modes are so easily mixed.

Perhaps I'm an odd egg. I dunno. I definitely know nothing about style. All I know is I view the brightness of applications to be the foundation and competing brightness bothers me greatly.

I forgot my glasses in the hurry to work today, so I might be more susceptible to this than usual, but some of the contrasts are very low. For instance palette 14 the yellow links on white, or palette 10 the yellow links on green, are both impossible to read. Update: Contrast 1.02 according to devtools in firefox.

Other than that I like the palettes.

Concur - some of the contrasts would need to be improved for the palettes to be accessible. I found this particularly true with dark backgrounds and light hyperlink text.

Great effort on the site though - was fun to look through to look at some options.

The design of this website is beautiful. I just wish it didn't reload after each palette change. Also, a toggle for the animations would be nice. They get a bit annoying after a bit.

Ahh, thanks for the feedback! I can definitely tone down the animations... Or maybe remove them for everything but the homepage.

I did the reload / separate pages because 1) to make my life easier building it lol and 2) so you could send links to specific palettes.

>so you could send links to specific palettes

Check out the pushState/replaceState/popstate API to update the URI without reloading the page, while still sending users with the link directly to that colour scheme.

IMO the animate on page load was fine. It was the animations upon scrolling that got annoying after a while.

Also, there are a few ways to change url without reloads, though, yeah, that might add some complexity.

Yes the reload is a shame - especially given that it needs a whole bunch of third-party JS to render anyway, it's annoying to have history fill up of different colour palletes.

Great resource though, I'm bad at this, will certainly use in future I'm sure.

I find the animations made me dizzy- a little movement is fine but every single thing moving and fading and sliding is pointless and distracting. I was reading the different stuff about the aspects of a color but I had to just stop.

Agree! Awesome idea for a site, but should definitely tone down the animations + disable after the first time.

It is awesome seeing colours in context. I've so frequently rejigged the palette whilst building the website, so this would stop doing that.

I'd love to be able to pick my own colours and to see how they look, instead of being bound by the pre-set ones... better yet being able to pick a 'starter' colour then having it create a complementary palette and seeing how that appears.

May I recommend http://paletton.com You can start with your base color and introduce variations above the colour wheel.

I'm thinking about building a Figma or Sketch file that allows someone to do just that :)

I like this idea. Especially as a dev who does a lot of front end work but has little sense of design.

I've seen a lot of color generators but I start to apply them and quickly realized having a grab bag of colors that look good together does not mean I have any clue where to use each one... and the result looks just as bad as one with the wrong colors.

Hi Mackenzie, interesting site. I spotted some typos: "This sections hues" -> "This section's hues", "adobe" -> "Adobe", "your designs colors" -> "your design's colors".

Great! Love a new set of colors and was just looking for some the other day. There are some other similar websites, but glad there's more! More colors the better.

I've decided on some websites to entirely ditch this color scheme palette and just go with a full-on gradient: https://sdan.io/ since I couldn't find good schemes at the time.

Good idea and well executed, it shows you have some skills and deeper knowledge with colors than most people, and informs, so people are likely to read and learn.

using firedox here, the bottom 5 palettes on the left side are blank, but when you click them, they do work to change the colors..

Your photo, the black and white profile, shows you with a great expression, but I wonder about the clothing too much. I immediately start wondering what the material of the coat(?) is.. thoughts run through, it almost seems like a fur coat and that you have nothing on under it. As I look closer I notice there is a Tshirt under that just blends with the black and white, so the nude effect is likely unintentional.

Then I go back to the coat and keep wondering what this outfit is. Maybe it's more common in SV / Portland etc, but where I'm at it looks very unusual. Perhaps the whole picture looks more common, it's just the shoulders of the item that are perplexing.

Not saying this is bad, just offering a glimpse into what some other peeps may be wondering.

Your black and white photo

I'd love to see it become standard practice to use a system like this to define a set of SASS variables that could then be composed in other rules rather than either hard coding the colors in each rule or using utility classes (e.g. ".blue").

You could probably do the same thing with text styles by defining variables for things like headline font, body font, monospaced font, etc.

The difference that I would see is that most designers probably don't want to be restricted to just the colors that are defined in the spec and it would be useful to have the colors associated with their purpose (e.g. text color, background color) so that they could be changed without having to change them throughout the various rules.

Yes, sorry, I was being flippant.

Giving names to colours in a universal spec like HTML5 would be asking for trouble. You'd be on a never-ending treadmill of new colours. Constants (however that's done, e.g. SASS variables) is clearly the way to go.

I made something like this in Less, and I don't think Sass can do it.

Cool site.

I notice it says that "A tint is created when you add white to a hue. .... you can create a tint by lowering the saturation value of your hue."

This is true in most paint programs, but shouldn't be. Moving a pure color like red to white is also an increase in value (i.e. brightness). So if you reduce saturation to zero while leaving the value the same, you should get a shade of gray (and it should be a darker shade if starting with purple/blue, as compared to say yellow)

I guess the way it tends to be done is so any combination of hue, saturation and value result in a valid color, but according to traditional color models such as Munsell, that shouldn't be true. (which is why the Munsell color solid is like a distorted sphere, rather than a cube) https://munsell.com/about-munsell-color/how-color-notation-w...

The timing is great - I am redecorating my home dashboard with new colors.

One of the major struggles I have is with the dark mode - is there a methodology to assign "dark" colors based on the existing "light" ones? Or should I do the design twice, one for the light and one for the dark mode version?

> is there a methodology to assign "dark" colors based on the existing "light" ones? Or should I do the design twice, one for the light and one for the dark mode version?

You can try inverting the colors used for the light theme to obtain a decent starting point for the dark theme design.

If you use SASS you can use `invert` for that, or `invert` from the CSS-in-JS library "polished"

For anyone curious how the inverse of a color is calculated, read this answer on StackExchange: https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/95100

Show HN is supposed to be for showing your own work


so you might have miscategorized this, m1guelpf.

Mackenzie Child also did http://www.lolcolors.com/ a while back.

Yeah, ended up selling that one :/

But Happy Hues is a better version imho :)

I'm sorry for this, apparently I misread the HN rules. Is there any way I can edit it to remove the "Show HN" part?

Mods will do it for you when they wake from their slumbers.

Fixed now.

How about black and white, and use color sparingly to get attention?

To me, colors have to be justified to be used anywhere in graphic design. But, I am pretty sure this would be an unpopular opinion amongst designers since color is such an integral part of "the look" today - anywhere and everywhere.

I take a hard lined approach towards design: Follow Swiss/International style for layout, minimal typography, use borders to seperate content, show hierarchy through type size first, and if colors are needed for additional context - use them sparingly.

Interesting. That sort of pink was also Pantone's color of the year.[1] It's definitely a super popular color in contemporary design.

[1] https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year...

Coral != 'millennial pink', the Pantone color of the year in 2016 was basically millennial pink though (it was actually two colors that year, the pink and a matching blue) I'm a big fan of soft pinks like that actually, but they are def overused

Very neat idea! I like the different color palettes available. You can see how a slight change in a shade can have a lot of impact.

I think the experience could be vastly improved by using CSS Variables (Custom Properties): you can update all the colors with JS in a single click (even the colors embedded in SVGs). That way, the color swap would be instant (no page reload) but you could still provide a direct sharing URL by replacing the state of the URL in the address bar.

I really like this. As a developer who sometimes has to design, I struggle choosing colors. I will definitely use this in my day to day. Thank you very much.

Offtopic: after copying a value, an unrelated emoji is added to a status message. E.g.: "copied ;-)", "copied ;-*" or "copied :unicorn:".

It seems confusing to me and I don't like it. But I see how it could boost engagement.

I wonder how many more emojis we need to see until a "emoji-block" browser plugin becomes mainstream.

These all remind me of Bugle Boy clothes from the late 80s and early 90s. I thought I was well gone of these color schemes!

Great site! I love playing with colour combinations, but I don't have the colour sense to be able to put together palettes myself.

On the data side, I have often (mis)used colorbrewer [0] to play with colours and see what might work well in visualizations.

[0] http://colorbrewer2.org

One note I find the heavy emphasis on the black lines in the design a bit distracting. The colors itself become a bit of a sidenote here.

Also I get seasick from the animation when changing colors, would be nice if just the colors were fading and the layout stays constant.

There was another example many months ago of something like this which I really liked and I curse myself for not bookmarking it. My search attempts have failed. I love sites that give ideas in color relationships.

I think its a 3rd party search. Just that the company was funded by HN. Anyways, it could be nice if there was a link in the UI that leads to this search.

Was it this from 3 months ago? https://www.colorbox.io/

Neat. Possible bug: it took me a really long time to figure out what "Toggle section colors" does because the thing it's toggling is never visible when the toggle button is. :)

Really impressive that you can build something like this with Webflow.

Actually I wonder if our end is near. Or maybe we become specialists in helping our clients with the Nocode solution they've chosen?

I think No-Code is great because it allows anyone to test out and launch their ideas.

I definitely don't think it's the end of developers though. Some of these no-code projects will grow to a point where they need more custom solutions where a developer will be needed.

Thought exactly the same. The end result is pretty amazing.

Hate to be a critic, but the transitions are distracting. Why can't I just read without things jumping out at me, from all sides. Its a little jarring.

I have made this one https://www.colorsandfonts.com

For AI generated color profiles see http://colormind.io/

These things are great for color/design-challenged folks like me, but I'd also love to see complimentary light-dark mode palettes.

I will bookmark this, because I dont have an esthetic sense, and never know wich color to use in my projects.

End up doing everything in black and white.

I spent some time finding good colors for my terminal, I usually reuse that when I design some website / webapp. 99% of the time I use monospaced fonts and my interface ends up looking a lot like a CLI application, but since most of my work is oriented towards technical people, end users often tell me they dig the design.

Thats nice. This days I work mostly for banks, so the stylesheet is always the same, but for personal projects I endup having to be more criative.

Cool site - bothers me though that “This sections hues” is missing an apostrophe...

Also, is this a clever ad for Webflow? If so, I’m not complaining...

useful ads >

Love this idea! It's definitely something I would use more if I could create my own palettes or view popular palettes

I love this. There are obviously lots of color palette tools out there, but this one shows you the colors applied to a theme.

Good job.

Simple and nice. Some way to visualize what font color works best with the selected background would be a good add.

All of these palates look very trendy 'contemporary big tech'. Something about the pastel colours. They go with the visual design.

But it seems very monocultural. I personally find them really distatesful (and isn't design about taste after all). Give me a nice saturated green any day.

> and isn't design about taste after all

As much as software design is about taste. So, depending on what your objective is, a lot or not at all but mostly somewhere in between.

Best practices, industry standards, the-right-tool-for-the-right-job-thinking, psychology, math, trends and, of course, personal feelings will all take part in the design decision making process.

It's true. What I'm getting at is there when you take that all into account, there are no absolute universals. There are many axes. So it can pay to accept some diversity.

To quote the site:

> ... by understanding the psychology of color, you can choose a color that will resonate with your target audience and give off the vibe & emotion you want.

Within this selection of palates there is no variance in this particular dimension of «pastel-ness». They all seem to lie on the same place on that axis. And that dimension is one thing that seems to unite a lot of contemporary deisgn.

Hence this feeling like another item of conformity with the monoculture.

It's not all that serious — just some colours. But interesting nonetheless. You don't often have the opportunity to talk about contemporary colour palates.

Beautiful :)

You might want to try hosting the JS minified on your own server. As is, it gets blocked by uMatrix and uBlock Origin.

Just spent far too long going through the color psychology charts. Well done!

Nice :)

Please don't mess with my back button

the colors are indeed wonderful

This is a joke site, right?

> Blue is a very calming color and can actually slow your metabolism (notice how there's little to no food brands that use blue in their branding).

Best Foods / Hellman's, Kraft, Barilla, Spam, Nestle, Pilsbury, Ocean Spray, Oreo, Quaker ... if this is for real, they've evidently never been to a grocery store.

> Purple thinks it's better than all the other peasant colors.

I guess so.

Fast food is what I was referring to

You really don't see blue used in fast food branding, mostly red & yellow.


Do you think that any site with humorous copy has to be a "joke site?" Seems pretty belittling to the creator of this.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact