A most excellent HSL color picker
JavaScript CoffeeScript CSS Ruby
Latest commit 0b9af6e Mar 28, 2014 3 @imathis MIT Licensed

README.md

What's so great about HSL

HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity) allows us to describe meaningful relationships between colors. Give this brown color, hsl(36, 73%, 10%), it's clear that if we desaturate 40 steps and lighten 70 steps we get hsl(36, 33%, 80%), a cream color. Look at that in hex, #2C1D07 to #DDCFBB, or in rgb, rgb(44, 29, 7) to rgb(221, 207, 187), and the relationship between colors isn't evident in any meaningful way.

I use Compass and Sass for all of my web design work and there are great color functions that allow me to manipulate colors using these relationships. I can use Sass's adjust-color to convert brown to cream like in the example above.

adjust-color(#2C1D07, $saturation: -40%, $lightness: 70%)
//returns #DDCFBB

Sass converts easily between rgb, hsl, and hex so I can have convenience of HSL color relationships but the browser compatibility of hex color notation. There are other color functions like change-color which lets you set the properties of a color, and scale-color which applies color transformations on a relative scale. These are great, but because they work like HSL, you have to understand how HSL works.

HSB != HSL

In graphics software I pick colors in HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness) because it feels more natural to work with than RGB or CMYK. Now, with CSS3 we can use HSL which is actually quite different than HSB. Without a decent HSL color picker, it's difficult to understand.

How to think in HSL

Pick a Hue from 0 to 360 and with saturation at 100 and lightness at 50 and you'll have the purest form of that color. Reduce the saturation and you move towards gray. Increasing the brightness moves you towards white, decreasing it moves you towards black.

License

Copyright (c) 2011 Brandon Mathis

MIT License

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.