Kuler Color Change


Kuler Color Change
by Jen White

Use Adobe Kuler color swatches to quickly change the colors of an element set to perfectly coordinate.

Note: This tutorial was written for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

Step One: Open an Element

  • Open an element.

I am using a button from Carefree by Amanda Heimann. Download the button to follow along.


Step Two: Download and Load a Kuler Color Swatch Set


  • In the Color Swatches panel (Window > Color Swatches), click on the flyout menu and choose Load Swatches. (PS: Choose Window > Swatches.)
  • Navigate to the swatches you downloaded and click Open.

The newly loaded swatches should appear at the bottom of the Color Swatches panel.

Step Three: Add a Color Adjustment Layer

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and choose Solid Color.
  • Move the Color Picker aside so you can clearly see the Color Swatches panel.
  • In the Color Swatches panel (PS: Swatches panel), click on one of the new color swatches.
  • Click OK to close the Color Picker.


  • In the Layers panel, set the Blend Mode to Color.

This should have changed the color of the element but allowed all the shadows and highlights to show through.


Step Four: Mask Away Color

  • Get the Brush tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Brush Picker and choose a hard round brush. Set the Size to 20 px and the Opacity to 100%. Set the Mode to Normal.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the layer mask icon of the Color Fill layer to activate it.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to white over white.
  • Press the letter X to make black the Foreground Color Chip.
  • On the image, click and drag over areas where you do not want the color change to show. (For example, the thread.)


Step Five: Adjust the Color

Some colors need a little extra tweaking to come out just right and some don’t. This adjustment will help you make the color lighter or darker.

  • In the Layers panel, click on the element layer to activate it.
  • Click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and choose Brightness/Contrast.
  • In the Brightness/Contrast panel (Properties panel), move the Brightness slider to left or right to achieve the look you are after.
  • Move the Contrast slider to the right to add contrast.
  • In the Layers panel, hold down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) and click and drag the layer mask from the Color Fill layer to the Brightness/Contrast layer. If asked to Replace the Layer Mask, click Yes.


Step Six: Save With a Unique Name

  • Save the element (File > Save As) as a PNG file with a unique name.
  • Close the original element without saving.


Download the PDF Manual for this lesson.





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