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Pokémon Palettes Turns Pikachu Into A Design Tool

Designers collect color palettes the way gamers collect Pokémon. So why not let designers collect palettes while capturing Pokémon? Boom. It’s called Pokémon Palettes. So now you can.

The idea of generating color palettes from Pokémon is easy to dismiss, but man, does it work. The execution. You just type in the name of a Pokémon–Pikachu, Psyduck, Geodude, or any of the other 720 Pokémon–and Pokémon Palletes generates a hexadecimal palette of all the colors from the sprite, ordered according to prevalence. It was created by Gus Clover, a recent graduate of the University of Washington.

How useful Pokémon Palettes is as a design tool, of course, is up for debate. Perhaps you’re brainstorming colors for a new bank website, and the client says he wants a nice shade of green. Pressing him to be more specific, the client tells you: “You know, like one of those grass Pokémons.” Loading up Pokepalettes quickly on your laptop, you respond: “Which one? Treecko, Ivysaur, or Chikorita?” Your client is impressed with your Pokéskills: handing you a $10,000 bonus on the spot, he encourages you to head to Snowbelle City, to challenge the great Pokédesigner Wulfric for his Iceberg Badge. But watch out for that design firm upstart, Team Rocket!

Even if it’s not a useful design tool, though, Pokémon Palettes is still a lot of fun to pursue. Any excuse to browse through the amazing sprite design of the world of Pokémon is an excuse worth taking.

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