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September 07 2011


Our New Rights Management System... All the Colors Belong to You!

When I first built COLOURlovers as a weekend project I had no idea it would become this amazing community. At the time, I threw together a terms of use and privacy policy modified from some of the big sites on the web... and the language used about who owned the content you uploaded here was WAY too aggressive. Basically, it said we "owned" anything you uploaded. It may have said that in small print somewhere, but that's never how we thought about or treated your creations.

Recently we took the time and the budget to update the terms to appropriate language clearly stating that you own everything you create here... but that you give us a commercial license to also use your content (without this we couldn't run the site or showcase your work in things like the Color Inspirations book).

BUT... Updating the terms weren't enough, as we want to fully hand over control of your content to you. Today we're launching two new features that hand the rest of the control of content here at COLOURlovers to you, our awesome and creative members.

Rights Management for all COLOURlovers Content

Can I use this pattern as the background for my blog? Is it free to use this? I don't understand the license you provide for the content on COLOURlovers... We get questions like this all the time. And although we've had a Creative Commons license on the bottom of every page... It hasn't been very clear what people can or can't do with the content shared on COLOURlovers.

License Display Area
So we've added a new section in the right column of each creation page to clearly show the license for that content. There are icons and bullet-points to explain what is allowed with each specific license, as well as a link to the Creative Commons site to learn more about the license terms.

Changing Your Content Licenses
To change the license for a specific color/palette/pattern/etc. you can click the "Edit" link above the license box in the right column. A window will open and allow you to change the license for that specific creation.

Default License Settings
The default license for all content on COLOURlovers is a By Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike license. (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

You can change your default license for all future creations in your account settings area (Set Default License). You can also update the license for all your existing content on this page. There is a checkbox at the bottom of the form to "Change All Existing" which will do a big bulk update for all your creations... ie, would you like to allow commercial usage of all of your existing content? You can do that here.

What Each License Means

There are a few different ways you can specify what people can and can't do with the content you share here on COLOURlovers.

All Rights Reserved
Nobody can use your creation without first getting your permission. This is the most protective license option. Ie, Selecting this license on a pattern template you've designed means that nobody else can color the template in. The license area for a creation with this license will link people to a page to send you a love-note to ask for permission to use the content.

Creative Commons
The Creative Commons is a non-profit that aims to "give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright — which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet."

All creative commons license options include "By Attribution"... meaning people can use it as long as they credit you for the original creation.

Additional options under the CC license are:

Allow commercial use.
Selecting this license option will allow other people to use your creation in work that they sell or market commercial services with. It could be an Etsy seller using a pattern as part of a gift wrap paper package they sell, or a real estate agent using your pattern as the background of their website.

Allow derivative works to be created.
Selecting this license will allow users to remix & modify your original creation. For example, if you have created a pattern template that you would like others to be able to color in... it needs to be licensed with a derivative license.

Derivative works must be shared with the same license you’ve selected.
Selecting this option will require all derivative works to be shared with the same license as the original creation. If this option is set for a pattern template, there is no option to change the license terms of colored-in patterns. They must retain the original pattern template license.

License for Colors & Palettes

It's easier to understand these licenses in the context of pattern templates, but it's a little trickier when talking about named colors & palettes.

Technically you can't own the rights to a color (despite some large corporations trying to copyright their specific branding colors). All 16 million colors already exist, we're just allowing you all to come up with clever names to associate with those colors. For now, all color names on COLOURlovers will continue to have our default (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license.

You also can't technically own the rights to the usage of certain colors together... ie, if you make a palette with Red, White & Blue... you can't prevent the US from printing more flags. What you can own the rights to is the combination of the colors in a specific order, and or the amount of colors presented as a 5 color palette like the way we do here on COLOURlovers. Ie, if you select an All Rights Reserved license for your palette: Somebody else can't present your palette anywhere else the way it is presented here on COLOURlovers. Even with an All Rights Reserved license though, they could still use that color combination to draw an illustration or design a logo.

We'll be adding a section to the site to explain the licenses better moving forward, so if you have any questions or think we should better explain something, please let us know.

Deleting Creations from COLOURlovers

If you really own all your creations, then you should be able to remove them from COLOURlovers too... and now you can. There is a new OPTIONS button in the About header for all creations. You're able to Edit & Delete your creations from here.

It's rare, but we know that sometimes people want to remove something they've shared on COLOURlovers... a palette they no longer love, a template they messed up on, etc. You're now able to delete all your creations, but the way we handle how things are deleted is a little different depending on what's being deleted. Here's a little more about what happens when you delete your different kinds of creations:

Colors. When you delete a color it will remove the color from your creations list, it will clear out the name, description, loves, faves, comments and all other associated information. The color will now be available for another member to name and list as one of their creations. A deleted color will still show in any palette or pattern, but will no longer have a name and will simply display the HEX value.

Palettes. When you delete a palette it will remove the palette from your creations list, it will clear out the name, description, loves, faves, comments and all other associated information.

Patterns. When you delete a pattern it will remove the pattern from your creations list, it will clear out the name, description, loves, faves, comments and all other associated information.

Templates. When you delete a pattern template it will remove the template from your creations list, it will clear out the name, description, loves, faves, comments and all other associated information. Any patterns colored in by other members will still exist on the site even after you delete the template, but no new version will be allowed to be created with the template.

*Gone But Never Forgotten*
Deleted content might still show up in search results in COLOURlovers for a brief time until our database runs it's regular updates to clear it out. Badges for your deleted creations will still exist, but the badge will be updated to show that the content has been removed, and the page for the creation will show that the creation has gone missing.

August 24 2011

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August 05 2011


Lover Feature: Designer, Shawna Crouch aka "sec9586"

Some of you may already know our own sec9586, some of you may have just heard of her as the designer of the Betabrand plaid pattern, "Betabrand2" in our contest, "Color a Plaid Shirt Contest by Betabrand + COLOURlovers". Either way, we're featuring her today so you can get to know her even better!

Shawna Crouch, aka "sec9586", is the owner / operator of CrouchDesign. She attended Murray State University, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art/Graphic Design in 2009, and specializes primarily in print design. Along with her designing day job, she runs a small shop on Zazzle as CrouchDesign, where she offers freelance design services. She also has an Etsy shop,  AquaNetNightmare, set to reopen September 1st, 2011 which will offer jewelry, cards, invitations, stationary and drawings.

Shawna continually uses COLOURlovers in every which way for both work and fun. Let's take a peek at how she does it...

Using COLOURlovers in Daily Design

COLOURlovers: How do you specifically use tools to work with a client in getting a perfect color palette?

Shawna: The first thing I do is to ask them what type of look they are going for. In doing so, I sometimes ask them what their favorite restaurant or hotel is, which can sometimes help show me an example of the style they like. After a preliminary discussion of their style, I direct them to and ask them to choose three color palettes they’d like me to work with. From that point, I can design a pattern in Seamless, work on the mock-up and work with them to get a design that they were imagining.

COLOURlovers: How exactly do you get clients to send you palettes to use?

Shawna: Usually I have clients email me links to the palettes, OR I have them download the AI or ASE swatch files (to email me) - depending on which is easier for them. Everytime that I have had them do this, it has gone very smoothly. Usually only issue being that they send more than three palettes because there are just so many wonderful color combinations to choose from. Then we get to play the elimination game, which can be a daunting task in itself!

COLOURlovers: What COLOURlovers tools do you use specifically, and how?

Shawna: When I use, I almost always use COPASO to create my palettes. COPASO allows you to make palettes with custom widths, but I mainly use it for the simple fact that I can use photos to pick colors from and use a scratch area to keep all my ideas organized.

Since I've just gotten the COLOURlovers iPhone App, ColorSchemer, I'm really looking forward to utilizing it in every day work. Being able to access and creating palettes on the fly will be an amazing tool. I imagine having a client sitting right with me saying, “Hmm, I need to see some color options for our company’s new look”. All I'll have to do is pull up the app and create the palette on the spot! It will definitely speed up this part of the process.

COLOURlovers: I know you've also recently got a copy of Seamless Studio. Do you use patterns a lot in your work already? If so, how will having a copy of SS on your desktop help out?

Shawna: I do try to use patterns in my work, because they can add subtle qualities that make a design much more interesting. Using the website is awesome because I can tailor the pattern templates to my needs, and then color several very quickly. It’s also exciting to find hidden gems among other users that create amazing templates.


Seamless Studio expands the limitations of making the templates in so many new directions. I have a lot more control over what shapes are in the pattern and better yet, getting the colors exactly how I like them for the big picture.

Being able to create organic shapes makes it so much more fulfilling to use the software and website to my full potential as a designer.


Shawna's current Fav's


I find it fascinating to see how our community uses COLOURlovers for both work and play and We have so many unique freelancers and small business owners. I'll be on the lookout for more Lovers to showcase here on the blog.

So how do you use COLOURlovers?


header design credits:

May 24 2011


Author Introduction: Shannon - a Professional Florist for the Wedding Channel

Meet Shannon, a new author soon to be seen frequently on our Wedding Channel (mainly). She has over 23-years of floral experience and is so deliciously creative with her art, that we had to snag up some of her talent for our benefit!

Besides owning and running, Flourish, located in Sacramento, California, Shannon also blogs and manages,, a fantastic resource and fun place for wedding tips, floral advice and you name it.

Shannon has been a COLOURlover since September 2010 as FlourishShan, and constantly refers brides over to to first create a palette before deciding on flowers. We'll get to learn more about her flower advice and a little DIY in the coming posts. Give her a big welcome and feel free to hit her up with any wedding flower related Q's! Enjoy! - Molly Bermea / Blog Editor

Hello, from Shannon herself...

Hi!  Let me start my intro post by saying that I LOVE color!  Color has always been a defining element in my life.  I clearly remember the color of my childhood bedrooms, the color of my high school's corridors and the colors of my own bridal bouquet.  Color drives my passion for floral design.  I consider the way I combine colors in my creations to be my strong point as a designer.  That is why I am so drawn to the COLOURlovers site and the tools it offers to myself and other color-philes (is that a word?).

Sarah Maren Photography

Day in Your Life Photography

So when Molly asked me to blog for the wedding channel here on COLOURlovers I couldn't say "YES!" fast enough.  I have been using the tools on this website for a little over a year now when developing color palettes for weddings and branding my blog, Fancy Pants Weddings and re-branding my floral business, Flourish.  I am a HUGE fan!

Flourish is my main business.  We are a special event floral design company in Sacramento, Ca.  I have been in business for over 20 years.  Every day brings me a new set of design challenges and I love it so much.  I have designed florals for over 800 weddings and events.  About 10 months ago I realized my brand could use some dusting off and sprucing up.  John Conley, graphic designer and friend, developed the color palette and logo that were to starting point for a complete brand re-vamp.  He has also helped me with every aspect of the branding from the look of the website to business cards.  But in the end it always comes back to the colors.

This is the palette we started with when we first started talking colors for Flourish's new brand.  As you can see, after a  few minor tweaks we stayed pretty true to the original color ideas.

Recently, I helped a bride develop a color palette using COLOURlovers for her wedding.  Erin had a hard time blending colors when she was developing the look and decor for her wedding.

The palette we put together was the main tool she used when choosing all the elements of decor for her event.  Linens, paper products and florals all centered around this palette.

Her bridal bouquet (above) added a little punch of magenta/purple and ivory.  Her bouquet consisted of Super Green roses, peonies, cymbidium orchids, dendrobium orchids, anemone, stock, Bells of Ireland and hypericum berries.  It smelled heavenly too!

Because clearly I do not have enough to do, I also write the blog, Fancy Pants Weddings where  I dish out advice and help to brides and grooms planning their Northern California weddings.  I also feature images of real Nor-Cal weddings, do the occasional wedding craft, and try not to take it all too seriously. Stop by and say "howdy!"  Because no blogger wants to feel like they are talking to themselves.

I am looking forward to writing more for COLOURlovers regarding weddings and all that goes into to planning the big event.

Header Palette:

April 26 2011


Group Feature: HAIKU- Where Poets Create with Colors and Words

Of the many word-based games played on ColourLovers, one of the newest is HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS where Lovers create palettes and poems at the same time from the words in the color names. The group began in January 2011 and quickly grew to 20 members in its first few days. Membership has more than doubled in less than the three to four months since the group was launched.

The Autumn Queen HPP

by Luna Rose

Upon rainbow throne
Bright and bold - The Autumn Queen
A sight to behold

April is National Poetry Month - A note from the editor

The month of April has many national celebrations, one of those being National Poetry Month. Before we draw this month to a close, we want to feature one of our most recent, popular groups, the HPP, managed by ketisse, a COLOURlover who is very passionate about writing and poetry. I personally think that it is amazing how she has invented a way for COLOURlovers to work with color, pattern and palettes to create poetry - the process is truly intriguing!

Today, the group currently boasts:

  • 178 COLORS
  • 179 PALETTES
  • 184 PATTERNS
  • 67 LOVERS

I hope you enjoy learning about the group itself and learning how to create a Haiku through palettes. ketisse has put together a very through guest post about her group and the creation process.

- Molly Bermea / Community Curator & Blog Editor

Creating Haiku's Using Color

A Haiku is created by combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.

The HAIKU Palettes and Poetic Patterns Group (HPP) challenges its members to be creative in two very different ways simultaneously:

  1. 1.) Combining colors while arranging the color names so they compose a poem.
  2. 2.) Working with words and colors this way can be a worthwhile exercise that helps expand personal creative horizons.

When making a palette or pattern, an artist can choose from every possible color available in the COLOURlovers' system, which can seem overwhelming. If you stick to the word games in the HPP Group Conversations, it might help you narrow your options and focus and sets a challenge to meet.

When you first enter the group, only five Conversations show, make sure you open up all of them. For instance there are only 5 of 13 Conversations showing (as of today), you'll find many other challenges if you view ALL 13 Conversations. With new challenge types, will come a new Conversation thread.

Haiku group discussions are distinguished by who names the colors.

It seems to be more of an advanced challenge if the haiku palette/poem was created using colors named by other COLOURlovers, than if the colors were named by the palette maker to complete the haiku palette. Some palette poems can be made up from a mixture of self-made colors and existing colors, these would be moderate to intermediate challenges.

"Crossovers" - palettes that qualify for two or more groups

This is where “crossovers” came in to play. These are palettes that qualify for two or more groups. The One-Lover at a Time (1LP) palette challenge was the first to be combined with Haiku for a crossover challenge. Periodically, a COLOURlover who has a lot of colors with English names is announced to the group and the palette/poets who accept the challenge use only that person’s color names to create a poem palette.
Crossover Palette Example / 1LP (One Lover Palette): notice all the color swatches are made from one COLOURlover.

Old Brain HPP + LP

by nfowler

Memory Dream Work
Fading Thoughts, Old Brain Butter
I Can't Remember.



Reading a COLOURlover Created Haiku

When viewing a HAIKU Palette, some may LOVE the palette after viewing only the color combinations. Unfortunately, viewers can move on without reading the color names and miss all the beauty in the artist’s poetic work. So, in group discussion threads, most palettes are presented in a way that allows viewers to appreciate the poems and the colors simultaneously. Of course, reading the color names of most HPP palettes is the same as reading a poem.

Shown below is an example by Donna Brock, aka COLOURlover: sunmeadow

Notice the correlation between the poem and the names of the colors swatches used in the poem.


The Rose

by Donna Brock / sunmeadow

The red blossom bends
and drips its dew
to the ground.
Like a tear it falls




HAIKU Poetry Café - Watch & Listen

Hidden inside this group, is the HAIKU Poetry Café. This is where ColourLovers can sit back, relax and enjoy some poetry performances by some very entertaining spoken word artists recorded in their own voices. Palettes inspired from this discussion do not have to be Haiku poems. The performance videos are chosen because of their powerful messages as well as their potential appeal to all audiences. For instance, some of the artists featured in the February series, for Black History Month, included Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur and Jill Scott.


I liked how Trixxie also incorporated a pattern describing parts of the poem's points, being a phenomenal woman, in patterns with the same color palette (see below).




Making a Haiku yourself

Haiku poems have 17 syllables arranged in three lines with five [5] syllables on the first line, seven [7] syllables on the second line and five [5] syllables on the third line.

Because most COLOURlover palettes contain five colors and because the palette-poet must combine phrases found in color names written by others, the syllables may be spread over those five lines in any combination that totals seventeen. If a poem-palette doesn’t have 17 syllables, it is still a poem, even if it isn’t a HAIKU.

First, open MS Word, Pages or a notepad program, where notes and lists of color names can be saved outside of the CL system. A paper notebook, sticky notes and a pen or pencil can be used for this step, too.

Second, start searching for colors to use for your Haiku. When searching for existing color names, the poem might need to be edited if phrases from the poem don’t exist in the COLOURlovers system. To compare colors, consider opening a separate browser window/tab for colors that represent each idea.

Dissecting the Process...

For those who are ready to make a Haiku palette, but have never written a Haiku before, here is a glimpse into the creation of a recent One-Lover poem-palette: “INDECENCY” - made using colors named by ycc2106.


The color search for Inecency HPP 1LP began with using the word "SEA". Color names appeared in the search and ideas came to mind. The next searches were for words like WATER, FISH and SWIM, etc. Funny thing, “SEA” didn't even end up in the finished poem, but it led to the color names that did.

Each color name that had potential went onto a list on the notepad. If a color name contained a color word, it was skipped because most color names evoke an idea of color without actual color words. With a 17 syllable limit, color names that suggest colors are more expressively efficient (a good thing).

To develop the story of the poem, these questions came to mind:

  • Who would be in this water?
  • What would happen there?

The color name search was shaped by these questions. YCC2106 had written two color names "ARROGANT MOON FISH" and “SWIM NAKED”. These color names answered those questions.


The word "arrogant" evokes an emotional reaction; the "moon" part took on a double-meaning when added to “swim naked”. These were the first to be added to the poem. The paradoxical, oxymoronic color name: “WISE FROGS” was already on the notepad but not in the poem yet. The idea of “WISE FROGS” seemed to be the perfect foil or opponent for the “arrogant moon fish” and went well with “DON’T KNOW WHY”. The poem was almost finished.

To fill the remaining syllables, the word EMBARRASS seemed appropriate at this point. YCC2106 had one color name: “EMBARRASSINGLY” but with five syllables, this took the poem to 18 syllables (one too many for a HAIKU). A search on “CONFUSED” revealed “CONFUSED AS HELL”. With four syllables, this completed the poem perfectly. Placed intentionally between the "moon fish" and the "wise frogs", "confused as hell" can apply to either. Let the reader choose.

Here is the finished poem-palette (with syllable counts next to each line):


  • (5) Arrogant moon fish
  • (3) Swim naked
  • (4) Confused as hell
  • (2) Wise frogs
  • (3) Don’t know why
  • by ketisse
  • February 28, 2011




When you go to this palette, Indecency HPP 1LP, take a look at the comments (both pages). It's fun to see the reaction from a COLOURlover when you use all of their color names in a Haiku.

The creative process can vary, COLOURlovers who are members of the HAIKU PALETTES & POETIC PATTERNS GROUP, put a lot of time and effort into their poem-palettes. You may view other HPP palettes here (by searching "HPP" under Palettes).

Group badge pattern artwork: colored by ketisse, Original Template by sunmeadow and badge assembly by ycc2106. Pattern "Symea wrote a Poem" is also used in the header of this post.
Header color palette, "Indecency HPP 1LP" was made by ketisse.

Keep creating beautifully.

This group feature post was written by - ketisse

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