Happiness is…Inspiration for a palette

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

You can find inspiration for a template or color palette almost anywhere. I keep Charles Schultz’s little Happiness Is… at my desk because I think it’s “my” color palette.

Charles Schultz's little Happiness Is...book on display

The book doesn’t follow “normal” book convention. The cover has no title, and the back and spine don’t have all the publisher’s required identification junk.

The book is set up a bit like a template. All the text is on the left side and is placed in the same exact spot on every page. Each of the right-hand pages are the same pretty raw sienna color, and all the illustrations in the book are on these pages. The lighter color of the right-facing creamy brown page ensures that the black ink of the illustrations will stand out.

Look how lovely all the spreads are as a system:

A page in the book "Happiness is eighteen different colors." on a yellow page next to an orange page

Several pages in the book with the statement "Happiness is" in pink, yellow, orange, and red

I love this palette. If you look through the book, you will know that my live verbs are to liberate and conquer. The hot pink and dark red are the “conquer” colors for me and the yellow and orange are the sunny colors of “liberation”. Although these sound like aggressive words, the warm brown color acts as a balance, and anchors my passion. Happiness at its best.

Here are the RGB values of this palette if you want to try it out for yourself: