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How Khroma Uses Machine Learning to Create Endless Color Palettes

Train an AI algorithm in a few minutes and combine your favourite hues to find the perfect colors for your design.

What is Khroma?

Type template. From Khroma
Poster template. From Khroma
Gradient template. From Khroma
Image template. From Khroma
Palette template. From Khroma
Info panel. From Khroma.

Why make Khroma?

Why painstakingly craft color palettes by hand when I can train an AI to learn how to infinitely replicate palettes I like? Could I train a neural network to predict whether or not I like a color?

How does Khroma work?

“I’ve found it rewarding to throw in some wildcards for my last five picks. These are colours that I don’t think I’d ever use on their own. Often I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what Khroma does with them. When next to other colours, they seem to fit perfectly in a way I wouldn’t have imagined.” — George Hastings

Generator. From Khroma
Search bar. From Khroma
Bias explanation. From Khroma

The model behind Khroma

George’s observations while he was developing Khroma. From georgehastings.com

“Before figuring out how to construct the model, I took some time to try and understand what was going on under the hood of good looking palettes. I took this first palette and swapped out its lightness values for those from a different palette. Although they shared the same hue and saturation, the result was terrible. I tried the same but swapped out the hue, the results were much better. Inverse saturation/lightness seems to have a strong “goodness” correlation. Observations like these helped inform my model/data construction.” — George Hastings

Khroma’s UI/UX

“I wanted something more about discovery, more like digging for gold. There are also plenty of sites with premade palettes too, but I, like others I hope, want to stumble across something ostensibly original”.

George on his learnings from working with AI

What can we learn from Khroma as designers?

Did you learn anything specifically from working with colors and AI?

Anything else AI would be good for, as a design tool?

Find more color inspiration on Khroma’s Instagram page, curated by designer Lucie Bajgart.

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Giorgia Lombardo

Editor of DeMagSign, Head of Brand & Comms at Design Matters. Interested in design, society, and culture.