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Color Schemer Studio


Reviewed:

March 21st 2006






Introduction
About Color Schemer Studio
Working with Color Schemer Studio
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Color Schemer Studio is an intuitive application that lets you play with all sorts of color combinations - as long as you choose from any of the color choices that this product offers, you can be reasonably sure that your finished color scheme will be based on scientific color principles.

I had been looking for something similar for a long time now - at our studio, we create tons of PowerPoint presentations and templates and it's always difficult and time-consuming to come up with inspiring color combinations while making sure that the resultant schemes are always relevant to how PowerPoint uses its own Color Schemes feature.

Although Color Schemer Studio has no PowerPoint integration in the same way that it integrates with Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter, the program is closest to what I was looking for.

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About Color Schemer Studio

Color Schemer Studio, as the very name suggests is a color oriented application. This application can be used for creating new color schemes by mixing the color values - behind the scenes, the program ensures that good color combinations are chosen based on color theory.

The product is from the company of the same name. My contact at Color Schemer was Aaron Epstein - thank you, Aaron.

You can download a trial version of Color Schemer Studio from their site... They have both Windows and Mac versions available - and also a free online version! For this review, I'm working with the Windows version.

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Working with Color Schemer Studio

Color Schemer Studio launches with the interface that you can see in the screenshot below:


Figure 1: An easy, intuitive interface

The interface is easy - I could get working with the product within a few minutes.

The interface has three panels:

  • Base Color,
  • Matching Colors, and
  • Favorite Colors

Base Color is the starting point - typically this would be your PowerPoint background slide color. You can input this color value by typing or choosing its hex value or the RGB value of the color.

The Matching Colors panel provides a visual color wheel which dynamically adds swatches of coordinating colors that work well with the base color. This is a great place to choose colors for all your chart and fill colors in a PowerPoint slide. Various color harmonies such as monochromatic, analogous, etc. are available for you to choose from.

Finally, when you like a color, just drag the swatch to the Favorite Colors panel to create your color scheme - that's all you need to do!

For text colors, Color Schemer Studio suggest possible text color depending on good contrast and visibility of text. Just make sure you select the base color you need, and then choose the Tools | Color Schemer Analyzer option to summon the dialog box that you can see in Figure 2.

color scheme analyzer
Figure 2: See a preview of which text color works best.

Once the text and fill colors are selected, save your color scheme as a Color Schemer file (.cs). Since you are creating a color scheme for use in a PowerPoint presentation, you'll have to select eight colors - these are:

  1. Background color - this would be your base color in Color Schemer Studio
  2. Text color
  3. Shadow color
  4. Title text color
  5. Fill color (Accent)
  6. Fill color (Accent)
  7. Fill color (Hyperlink)
  8. Fill color (Visited Hyperlink)

The same color scheme can also be exported into popular color scheme formats such as Photoshop color swatches, HTML color charts , color sets for Corel Painter, and many more formats. Unfortunately, there's no automatic way to inject those color schemes within a PowerPoint presentation, but since you already know which colors to use, it's just a matter of time going and choosing the same color values in PowerPoint.

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Pricing and Support

Color Schemer Studio costs $49.99 - and all purchases are through a secure, online server.

Support is great - the site has forums, and a blog. In addition, there is a Scheme Gallery where users can upload and share their color schemes! They also have email support.

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Conclusion

At $49.99, Color Schemer Studio is a great buy - if you want your colors to be well-coordinated and chosen, this is an amazing product.

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