Introducing Pantone Pickr

UPDATE: Feb 2014. Had to change the name of this – see here for details: bye bye Pantone, hello generic colour tool

Whether it’s because I do work for internal eyes only, or because I’m just the faceless freelancer on board who has signed a contract to keep schtum, or because a project just don’t strike me as ‘show’ worthy – more often than not, I don’t really share the things I make at work. It’s odd, because looking through my portfolio in it’s current state, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I haven’t produced anything in years.

So, in a bid to keep the online representations of me more up-to-date and relevant to what I’m doing, I’ve decided to make more effort when it comes to sharing the fruits of my labour. Starting with this.

Pantone Pickr (I dropped the ‘e’ because it’s quirky) is an online tool for selecting the Pantone value (and RGB & HEX values) from an image on your computer. It started life as a bit of experiment in Flash a couple of years ago as the basis for a potential project that never got off the ground (or at least, not with me). These files languished on my hard drive for far too long, until last week when I got a bit bored in the evening and stumbled on my ‘pantone picker thing’ directory while tidying up some old files. I nearly just deleted it, but thought it’d be a waste to get rid of completely. Despite the fact that it was very much just a hastily put-together proof of concept, I’d put a bit of time into getting it working and there were elements that were worth keeping (the database of Pantone colours being one).

The Flash needed to go though. Much as I’m a fan of Flash, I can accept that people are wowed by things that have HTML5 branded all over them, whether it’s right or wrong. Never one to ignore a bandwagon, I thought I’d give it a go at converting my Actionscript into a html / jQuery version. A quick google gave me some starting points – namely, these two pages:

Those two tutorials formed the basis of my efforts, and are worth looking at if you want to achieve anything similar. Getting them to play together, and integrating my patented Pantone Pickr processing power wasn’t too difficult, and after a few hours, I had a working version. (The wealth of information on the internet never ceases to amaze me.. making this would have taken me AGES in the olden days). All it needed was some tidying up (cue second night), a little bit of testing, a catchy name and voila! Pantone Pickr was born.

You should go and play with it and then tell your friends. There’s still plenty to do with it, but all things considered, I’m quite happy with it at the moment. I’m more than happy to accept tips / comments below if anyone has any thoughts on it. It’s know it’s far from perfect, but it’s not gone through any testing outside of my laptop whatsoever, so i’m blissfully ignorant about how it works for other people. Not that I’m too fussed to be honest. It’s not getting released anywhere other than here, and it’s an experiment first and foremost. If you want to give me some ££ to develop it, then feel free, and I’ll make it more robust. ‘Til then though, if you need to grab the Pantone value of an image on your computer and can’t be bothered to open up Photoshop, you know where to go!