Colour palette choices with Canva

by Diana Alborch September 14, 2020

5 ways Canva helps you choose a colour palette


Canva is a great platform for creating graphics and visual content. Within all that Canva offers, there is a set of tools that can support you in your website and graphics development within the choice for colours. We present you 5 ways in which Canva can support you while choosing a colour palette.

Canva is a great platform for creating graphics and visual content. Within all that Canva offers, there is a set of tools that can support you in your website and graphics development within the choice for colours.

When can these be useful?

  • You are starting a new brand or webpage and are unsure about which colour palette to use
  • You are preparing your standard newsletter design to send to your customers
  • You are communicating to your customers for a special event or advertising

    You have an initial colour, need to find combinations - try out the Colour wheel

    Once you have a colour already defined, Canva Color wheel allows you to try out different combinations. If you have a main brand colour defined, or you picked a colour from a picture or fellow page that inspires you, and want to create a colour palette from it.

    The first tool for palette generator is the colour wheel. Just type in the step one, pick-a-color box, your initial colour in HEX. In the second step, you can choose different colour combinations (complementary, monochromatic, analogous, triadic or tetradic) for which the tool will give you the relevant colours.

    If you are not fully convinced by the colours, the colour wheel allows for flexibility to move within the colour wheel and regulate the brightness and darkness. Just give it a go!

    Once you found your desired colour palette, you can click on the colour code to copy it or export your palette in pdf. Canva is developing the functionality to export in CCS, which we are looking forward to!

    Within the same colour wheel page, you can also find more information about the different types of colour combination and details of the  colour theory. You can scroll down to get some insights.

    #tip! If you have a color in RGB, you can use this converter to change it to HEX and vice versa. You can use the following, or search for the one that fits you best.

    RGB to HEX

    Rapid tables - (I personally like this one better)


    You have an inspiring picture you want to base your palette on - try out the Palette Generator

    If you have an inspiring picture from which you like the mood and feel, you can easily convert it into a palette with the Canva Palette Generator tool.

    We chose this amazing picture of a sunset & night sky to base a mid-summer night promotion.

    For this tool, you need to have the picture stored in your computer. Then, you can just upload the picture by clicking the upload an image button, and the palette will be automatically generated.

    Once the palette is generated, you can copy the colour codes by clicking on the colour squares instead of the text, but this tool does not allow to export the palette.


    This is a very useful tool, however, it only allows to upload a picture you have locally stored in your computer. Another interesting tool for extracting colour palettes from pictures is the page which allows to paste the URL from an image or webpage to examine the colours, together with the option of uploading the picture. As information, it provides the dominant colour plus a palette of 10 colours, from which you will need to choose which ones to focus on.


    Browse through palettes sorting by keywords - Colour Palette Database

    Within Canva, you can also find a Colour Palette Database with about 4000 different colour combination. No need to be overwhelmed though, the search function allows to filter keywords to sort out the palettes that are relevant to your purpose. You can enter a colour or a mood to find the palette you have in mind.



    100 palette combinations

    If 4000 palettes seems a bit too much to go through, Canva prepared a selection of 100 palette combinations, in which each includes a brief description and a picture.

    The page starts with an introduction to the colour theory, and then lists the 100 palettes with a brief description of the mood with possible applications, including a picture. This option, gives you a better feel of the colours and the combination, and is easily scrolled through.

    The drawback is that you cannot copy the colours so easily, if you want the colours, you will need to type them manually, since if you click on the palette, a new tab opens with the Canva design editor.


    Important to keep in mind - Colour meaning

    Finally, we cannot forget about the colour meaning tool. It is important to keep in mind the meaning of the colours, and even more in the international globalized world we live in.

    The example I like the most, since I have experienced it personally, is the connotations of colour Red, which in the west has negative connotations while in Asia, particularly China, is perceived as a lucky colour. Hence, bank transactions in China are marked as red when positive and green when negative.

    Keep in mind when designing the audience, the purpose and the message to convey. Your colour choice should be aligned with the three to have a compelling communication.



    You can find all resources and Canva colour pages in the following link:


    Diana Alborch

    Passionate UI/UX project manager.
    In our team, Diana shares her tips on enhancing communication through design.
    You will find her on a brunch cafe in Beijing, or hunting for the best sailing spots in China.

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