#design / Thibaut Sailly on a better way to create color variations.

This is required reading for anyone who considers themselves a designer. I only provide this quote as a means to entice everyone to click through and read—no, see—the post which includes images that will sell Sailly’s approach.

Before presenting it, let’s cover quickly the first solution that will naturally come to mind for the developers you work with: automating the production of color variants from a given reference by applying a mathematical formula. A formula is objective, stable, and can be automated - reassuring.

The concentric format offers a better visual perception of the variants progression than with the stacked rectangles.

Doing this exercise gives the feeling of shaping the progression and allows the link between intention and result to exist. The mental image I used to help me is that of concentric discs of varying thickness stacked on top of each other, seen from above. The smallest one being the closest to a zenith light source (therefore the lightest), and the largest the farthest away (therefore the darkest).

By increasing the number of variants, it is possible to refine the profile of this fictitious volume, and to ensure a choice of references in the areas of the spectrum that will be relevant to the project.

Good design is a craft, not a formula.