Turn Inspiration into Tools
In this quick tip we'll be looking at a technique that I use a lot when working with photos. If I like the colors in a photo and want to use those in a design, or in future designs, I'll create and save a custom swatches file. Let's take a look at how it's done in Photoshop.
Open up Photoshop and start with a photo that contains colors that you like. Here's mine.
Now click Image | Mode | Indexed Color from the top menu. It will ask you to flatten layers if there are any. On the next panel choose the amount of colors you want to appear in the swatches. I chose 256.
Now click Image | Mode | Color Table. The table will open with all of the newly created swatches.
Click Save, and name the .ACT file whatever you like. Save it to whatever location you want. Now open the Swatches panel by clicking Window | Swatches. Once the panel is open choose "Load Swatches" or "Replace Swatches" by clicking the arrow in the top right of the panel. Navigate to your new .ACT file to load the new swatches. You can also change your image back to RGB color at this point.
Now you can create new elements and choose consistent colors from within the photo, or you can open and use the colors in another project.