Sometimes we need a quick jolt of inspiration to get out of a color rut. I often hear from other designers that they use the same colors over and over again. There are perfectly good reasons why – we may be known for a certain color palette (Nubby and her black, white and reds), or be restricted by brand guidelines or we just gravitate to some colors. While constraints are great, pushing ourselves progressively as creatives means going outside our comfort zones and also challenging standards. Color is a great way to alter mood, focus, and revitalize. Today I’m taking a quick look at three sources of color inspiration with a gaming theme.
8-Bit Console Color Palettes
A great jumping off point for any retro themed infographic or creative project is taking a look at actual color palettes used by 8-bit gaming consoles.
The Commodore 64 had a lot of limitations to what colors it would display. When you compare it to the other consoles, a clear difference is easy to see. Just looking at a screen would make it possible to identify the console type. The C-64 has a pretty nice palette, with color tints that are softer and easier to look at for longer periods of time.
An engaging look at different color palettes from the characters in the game. There is some pruning I would do if I used the colors – adding tones in, removing some redundant colors. Most of them would be good starting points for a monochromatic infographic or one using a limited pop of color.
Independent game designers and artists often have fun takes on color palettes. On the PixelJoint forums I found an interesting palette that reminded me of an Amiga. Going by DawnBringer, the designer offers a public version of the palette for others to use on their projects. Definitely worth a look.
Name: DB's Palette Columns: 8 # 20 12 28 Dark1 68 36 52 Dark2 48 52 109 Dark3 78 74 78 Dark4 133 76 48 Dark5 52 101 36 Dark6 208 70 72 Dark7 117 113 97 Dark8 89 125 206 Light1 210 125 44 Light2 133 149 161 Light3 109 170 44 Light4 210 170 153 Light5 109 194 202 Light6 218 212 94 Light7 222 238 214 Light8
Want to dig deeper? Check out this Wikipedia article on color palettes for different video game consoles. Talk about constrains!