1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — Apr. 13, 2007
The Design Element
The muted color pallet is essentially the polar opposite of the Ultra Pop pallet. Instead of working to make everything bold and in your face, muted pallets work to be more restrained, and perhaps even sophisticated.
Don't confuse this with designing with gray, there is certainly a difference. Many of these muted designs, if not all of them, use gray. But, you can certainly create wonderful muted designs that don't purely rely on it.
One major bonus of working with such a pallet is that when you really need to make something stand out, you can do so very easily. All you have to do is put in a bit of full color and you can make an element leap out of the page. Certainly too much of this can destroy the atmosphere created by such a color scheme, but it is a real bonus of this style. Actually, this isn't just a bonus, but perhaps the real reason to use this design. It has the ability to let certain content leap out at you.
On Design Meltdown I used this approach. The blue is a bit too saturated for this category but I did try to minimize the contrast of the design to enable the other visual assault stand out. With all the sample sites and sponsor ad's the last thing I needed was an overly busy design.
Genopal (Color pallet creation software)
COLOURlovers (Excellent color pallet collections)
Kuler - pallet builder from Adobe /
best tool I have found for easily creating beautiful color pallets)
Great color browsing resource (Named colors, by hue, etc)
Blender (On MeyerWeb)
Color In Motion
Color Schemer Online v2
Color Schemer Gallery