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Swatchos – Choose Colours With A Deck Of Cards

Thanks for taking a look at Swatchos. Swatchos are a box of 129 cards to help you choose and work with colours. And because they are cards they're perfect for moving around to create colour schemes for your project – whatever the project might be.

I started thinking about Swatchos because I couldn't find a colour tool that I really loved. I thought there must be a more intuitive and enjoyable way to play around with colours, but I couldn't find one.

Choosing colours in software is fine but feels awkward and slow. I wanted to use my hands to play around with options. I also found colour charts and swatch books useful for choosing single colours but because you can't move the colours around it's difficult to create colour schemes. So that's when Swatchos became a thing.

Choose Colours And Make Colour Schemes – Whatever The Project

An example of one of the many colour schemes possible with Swatchos

Each card has one main colour on the front. The reverse has two edge colours: one darker and one lighter than the main colour. They are positioned along the edges so when fanned out in a group you can use them to create colour schemes.

The cards can be used in so many different ways and I'm sure people will see uses in them that I didn't even imagine. Here are just a few ideas:

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For Creatives, Artists, Teachers and Hobbyists

Using Swatchos to think up possible colours for a logo and branding project

Swatchos being used to plan colours for a painting

Create a colour wheel with the cards

The Cards

129 unique colour cards

There are 129 unique cards in a box of Swatchos. Each card has one colour on the front and six on the back. The front colour is the main colour and the reverse shows darker and lighter version of this colour.

The cards are spread equally around using CMYK as the base. Each of the front colours is 25% away from another. For example you may have a green of 50/0/100/0, but also a 75/0/100/0 green. The back of the card then has three tints of this colour that are lighter and three colours that are darker with black added (25%, 50% and 75%). This means a huge spread of colours are covered in the 129 cards. Along with these cards there are also four cards that specifically focus on greys.

Each colour has a CMYK value and an RGB Hex code. The CMYK is the actual colour that is printed on the card. The RGB Hex code is the equivalent RGB value when converting to screen.

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One colour on the front, six colours on the back

Each of the seven colours on the card has a CMYK value and RGB Hex code. And each card is numbered for easy sorting and reference.

Transfer your colours to your on screen project with downloadable swatch files – to be used in Adobe CC

Full deck of 129 cards

129 Cards, 903 Colours, Millions of Possibilities

By using the 129 cards in a pack of Swatchos it is possible to create millions of combinations. In fact it's possible to create many, many more than that.

By just using the front colours of the cards there are:

Using both the front and back two edge colours there are:

That's a lot of different combinations!

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Colour Accuracy

Swatchos have been designed to be as colour accurate as possible. The cards themselves have been designed using the FOGRA39 colour profile which keeps the colour between the designer (me) and the printer as accurate as possible. The conversion of the those colours to RGB has also been carried out in a controlled way from CMYK FOGRA39 to sRGB.

Product Development

Many different card designs were tested before getting to the final one

Box ideas in development. Final box shown on far right.


For any media enquiries contact me at You can also download media files here.

A rainbow of colours

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