Design Tool Picular Taps into Google Image Color Data

October 9, 2018

We learn from a write-up at Fast Company that “Google Image Search Is Now a Design Tool.” More specifically, the new design tool Picular taps into Google Image Search for its data. This is an intriguing approach. Writer and associate editor Katharine Schwab writes:

Picular is a new color search tool that lets you enter any search term and presents you with a slew of options, basing all of its color choices on what pops up first in Google image search. It’s a color-picker, courtesy of internet hive mind. For instance, if you type the word ‘desert’ into Picular’s search bar, the tool scrapes the top 20 image results from Google and finds the most dominant color in each image. It presents these results in a series of tiles: A sea of sandy browns and oranges, with a few blues (presumably from the sky) thrown in. Each tile has the color’s RGB code that instantly copies to your clipboard when you click on the tile, making it easy to instantly try out the colors in your work. Picular is a quick and handy way to get color ideas for a design project, especially because you can type in more emotional, evocative words and see what Google instantly associates with each idea.”

And where does Google get their associations? From its algorithms’ studies of human nature, of course. It may at first seem odd to consult an AI to better know the colors of human emotions and ideas, but some color associations we think of as natural actually vary from culture to culture, and Google extracts its data from around the world. Such a tool could certainly help designers and, especially, advertisers better connect with their intended audiences through color. Picular was created by Future Memories, a digital studio out of Sweden that was founded in 2014.

Cynthia Murrell, October 9, 2018

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