At this point in my Ugly PowerPoint project, I want to create a good visual “look” for the course. I have found it’s pretty handy to think about this at a pretty early stage in the project. First, I take a look at the existing photos supplied in the PowerPoint and think about whether or not I want to use them. Sometimes, there’s no choice in the matter; you must use the supplied graphics. Sometimes, they need to be re-photographed. And, sometimes it’s a good idea to just re-create the graphics in Photoshop. Looking at the existing photos, I can start to think about color.
Adobe Kuler is a great place to start if you have photos already. It’s a free online service and you can set up an Adobe User ID pretty easily if you don’t already have one. Once you log in, you can upload a photo from your project and select colors for your palette. Using this photo, I’ve set up a palette that seems like a good place to start. Once you have that set up, Kuler gives you the hex values for each color that you can use in a graphic editing program.
Another cool tool is Pixie. It’s a great freeware program that you can download and run from your computer whenever you need it (no installation required). It turns your mouse into a color picker and it will tell you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of wherever you are pointing.
Other online cool color tools I’ve used are COLOURlovers and Color Scheme Designer. COLOURlovers is very plugged into the designer community via Twitter and offers a lot of tools and ideas. It’s a great place to get inspiration. Color Scheme Designer is more of a web designer geek tool, although it’s quite sophisticated. Once you pick a theme and type of scheme you want, you can export it into a few different formats, such as HTML/CSS, XML, Text, ACO for Photoshop, or GPL for Gimp (an open-source Photoshop alternative). Just plug in a color value and start poking around, I dare you!
For my purposes, I’m pretty satisfied with the Kuler Theme I created, so I’ve made a note of those values. Now I can go into Storyline and plug those values into my project.
In Storyline, I can customize a theme based on my color palette. I’m not sure I’m satisfied with this one yet, but it’s a good start. Once I start adding content to my Storyline project, I will have a better sense if it’s working or not.
Next post, I’m going to talk about re-creating some of the graphics in Photoshop. In the past, I’ve been very apprehensive about using the dreaded Pen Tool and I think it’s time to dive in and see if I can master this highly powerful yet scary tool.
ReferencesAdobe Kuler: http://kuler.adobe.com
Color Scheme Designer: http://colorschemedesigner.com/