Design Diary

Happiness is…Inspiration for a Palette

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.

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:

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:

Nancy Duarte


Related Posts

  • Hi, I am half way through reading your book & am trying to work out a company colour palette for future slides…I am an accountant…so this side of my brain does not get exercised a lot…however before I read the book I knew my colour RGB’s so am pleased I am soaking in this new world of colour…My business has two colours PURPLE R102G0B102 and GREENR153G204B0 – I guess I will try google, but not sure where to start to establish complementary colours – I was hoping you would have somewhere on my website I could have feed the numbers into.



  • I found just what I wanted here :-

    love google

  • diandra

    Hi Heather,
    Yes, Google is great! Glad you found what you needed. Here’s a couple more sites that I like to use when dreaming up color palettes.

    Both of these sites allow you to create custom palettes and then save them to your computer to use in your apps.

    Hope this helps!