Setting Up Your Color Palettes in Procreate, What You Need to Know

Setting Up Your Color Palettes in Procreate, What You Need to Know
The palettes that the Procreate App comes with - Ascend, Campfire and Flourish.

One of the very nice features about Procreate is how Procreate will allow you to set up your own color palettes, while at the same time giving your valuable information about the palette colors themselves. This easy to use feature means that you do not need to find the same color time and time again but it can be easily found and be organized in such a way that you can quickly find it.

The Procreate App for Apple IPad has a palette feature that allows you to easily set up color palettes. This is a great tool that helps you to organize the colors you need when you are designing products by Procreate. The palette tool will not only organize the palettes but also show you the RGB, HSB and Hexadecimal Value of your color, along with the exact position of the color on the color wheel. There are several methods you can use to find your palette colors, but one of the easier ones is to photograph the color and import the photo into Procreate.

There are many things that we love about the Procreate palette feature. These are some of the frequently asked questions and some other inquiries on how to use the palette feature on Procreate.

What is the Procreate palette feature?

Procreate has a feature called palettes. This palette feature is similar to if you had a palette with paint colors on it, but with the Procreate software, it will always keep the colors on the palette for you.

Here are some great things that we love about the Procreate palette feature:

  • Comes with preset palettes – When you purchase the procreate software from the Apple App store, the procreate software will come with three preset palettes called Ascend, Campfire, and Flourish. If these are the only colors you need then you will not need to set any more palettes. But most artists will want to be able to have other colors for their artwork.
  • Easily set up new palettes – Procreate allows you to easily set up your own palettes. You can name the palettes any name you choose. We really love this feature as it helps us to keep the palettes organized.
  • 30 colors per palette – Procreate allows for each palette to have 30 color choices per palette.
  • You can easily move and change colors – It is very easy to move or change around the colors on the palette. This can allow you to organize them just as you want them or need to use them.

Why use the palette feature in the Procreate app?

The palette app in Procreate is a simple yet easy way to organize your colors that you may need for any design. This is one of the really great features of Procreate.

For example, do you use you a lot of different white tones from pure white, to off white to cream? You could set up one palette with all the white colors you use so that when you place them all next to each other and easily see the colorways.

Each year Mondoro looks at the color trends for the year and then sets what we feel will be years color trends. These color trends we will use to do our product design in Procreate, so having them be organized and easy to use to really important.

Here are other things we really like about the Procreate palette feature:

  • Can set up palettes by a name – We really love how you can set up the palettes by a name. We find this really helps to keep the palettes easy to use and organized. For example, we have several trends we do each year a Nomadic Retreat, Nordic Life or Cuban Living or North Shore trend. Each palette can have its own name.
  • Makes finding colors very easy – By setting up a color palette you can use exactly the colors you want to use and you do not need to keep finding the various colors for your design or project needs. This feature makes finding the colors you need to use for a project as easy.
  • You can easily find the colors – Procreate gives you several ways that you can find the colors from photographing the color to importing a photo from your iPad. We love how it is easy to import the colors you need.
  • Set up a default palette – If there is one palette that you use a lot and you want to be sure that palette is always front and center, then you can set up that palette as a default palette. We have set up a default palette that we call “Basic Colors.” As we use the color black a lot with our sketching, a basic black is the first color on the palette next to a basic white color.
Procreate palettes
Examples of palettes we have imported into Procreate.

Setting up a Palette in Procreate

There are several ways that you can set up a palette in Procreate. The first step you must do is locate the color you want to put on the palette, here are the basic ways to do this:

  • Photograph the color – you can simply photograph the color and then import that photo into Procreate to locate the color.
  • Locate the color online – We use this a lot in that we will find a color online and then we import that photo into Procreate to find the color that we need.
  • Find the RGB, HSB value or Hexadecimal Value – Procreate allows you to set the HSB or RGB value to find the color or the Hexadecimal value to find the color.
  • Find the color on the color wheel – Procreate gives you two ways to find the color on the color wheel. One is on the color wheel disc and the other is on what they call the classic view which is a more detailed view of the color.

You will notice that two of these methods is to import a photo of the color into Procreate. I find that using photos to import into Procreate to find the color value is very easy.

Importing a photo to find a color value for a Procreate palette

One of the easier ways to find a color to use on your color palette for Procreate is to find a photo of the color and then import the photo in procreate. It takes a bit of time to get used to doing this but once you do it is quite easy.

Here are the steps that you must take to do this:

StepsTool/ActionOther Actions
1Blank CanvasStart with a blank canvas on Procreate
2Tools – Photo InsertGo to tools and import photo or take a photo
3Press on ColorPress down on the color until you see the color appear in the top right-hand corner.
4,Place on PalettePlace the color in the palette you desire.

You need to always start with a canvas. If you do not want to keep the canvas you can always delete it but to import any photos into Procreate you must first start with a blank canvas.

Procreate Palettes Features
The Procreate palette features that show the HSB, RGB and Hexadecimal values of a color.

Here are a few things to remember when importing a photo to use to get a color for your palette:

  1. Make the light of the photo is good quality. Light can make a difference as to what shade the color will ultimately be. Procreate will read the color exactly as it sees the color so if there is shading it will read the color as darker than the actual color.
  2. Check or photograph the color in sunlight – One of the best ways to check the true color of something is to look at the color in sunlight. Many light bulbs can change the color tone.
  3. Check the color on your screen – I find when checking a color on a screen that the Apple Retina screens can make a difference and will give you a more true color reading than some other screens.
  4. Where you press, that is where Procreate will read the color value – Where you press on the photo that is where Procreate will read the value. If some parts have shaded areas it will read it as darker and then other places as lighter, so be sure where you press is the color value you actually want.

We have tried to use both the Apple Pen and also our finger to find the color and we have found that pressing down with our finger onto the iPad screen is a much easier method to find the color value than by using the Apple Pencil. We are not sure why this is the case, but we recommend that you use your finger to press onto the screen to find the color value.

How can I convert Pantone colors to a Procreate palette?

Using Pantone colors is the standard in many industries, especially industries such as ours that are working on product development. But despite the fact it is an industry-standard, I have not been able to find any easy method or conversion tool to easily convert a Pantone color to a Procreate palette.

One way you can do this is to find the RGB value of the Pantone color. But most of the reputable conversion tools that I have been able to find will convert RGB color to a Pantone color and not a Pantone to an RGB value. This is a problem as you really need the RGB value of the Pantone color.

Besides this one Pantone color can have a few different RGB values associated with it as different Pantones colors can show different values or look different. For example, we have several Pantone books and even between a coated and uncoated Pantone book the color values can be slightly different. The color is the same, but the topcoat or shine can make a difference.

Matching color, in general, can be a very tricky thing as there are so many variables that can affect how the color actually matches up. So I have found one of the best ways is by training your eye to be able to see color and color differences.

To match up a Pantone color we will use this method

  • Find the Pantone color online Pantone has a very good website, you can click here to go to the website and find the Pantone colors on their website. Also as an alternatively do a google search for the Pantone color you want and then look under images and find the color.
  • Match the actual Pantone swatch with the online color – I have found when matching a color I have found online for Pantone many times several colors can show up, so it is best if you have the actual Pantone swatch in front of you so that you can match the color as close as possible.

An important point to remember with this method is that what you see is also how Procreate will see the color. So if you really need an exact match you may need to check it carefully and use several methods, but also use your eye to be sure the color is what you want.

Procreate Palette Features
The Procreate disc (color wheel) feature.

Some final words on color matching with Procreate

Matching color is always a very tricky thing, especially for Product Development of products. We have found that even slight changes as changing a color finish from a shiny to a matt topcoat can change how the color looks on a product.

This is no different than working on Procreate. For this reason, when we are designing products for us to get the exact color and finish we need to do an actual color chip for the product we are designing. In other words, I would never design or develop a product and think that I would match the color off Procreate, I would instead match that color off an actually finished color chip.

The reason is that at least for home furnishing and home decor design I see Procreate as a great tool for us to be able to get easily get our designs, color trends and other finishes on paper. But once we have designed them on paper then our next step would always be to have a color finish color chip that we would make and get confirmed before manufacturing the entire product. Since even what is shown on paper can always look a bit different than an actual produced product or design.

Procreate palette features
The procreate palette features as on a classic view color wheel.

Conclusion

The Procreate palette is a feature of Procreate that a product designer should not overlook. It is not only easy to use but also has a lot of great features that make it an essential part of the Procreate App and product design.

Related Questions:

Are there color palettes I can import into Procreate?

There are a lot of color palettes that you can import into Procreate. If you do a quick search on Google or Pinterest for “Free Palettes Procreate” you will find that a lot of different palette options will come up.

As the home furnishing and home decor industry is a fashion industry, we have found that usually, we need to set our own palettes and colors each year. If you download our current lookbook you can find the Pantone colors and trends we have set for each year. and easily import them into Procreate.

How can I cross-reference between Pantone color guides?

Pantone has a very good cross-reference tool on their website that you can find by clicking here. This cross-reference tool is between one Pantone book to another Pantone book.

We have found that even when cross-referencing one Pantone number to another, the color may not be exactly the same. For example, a color in the Fashion Home & Interiors Guide to the Formula Guide that is cross-referenced, may not be 100% the same. For this reason, if you need to match a color exact from Pantone it is best that you have the exact color chip from the exact Pantone guide book and use that to match the color.

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