COLOURlovers Wants To Unleash Your Creative Streak With An iPhone App

Deep down, each of you has an inner artist yearning to break free and expose your creative juices to the world. Unfortunately that inner artist probably isn’t especially talented — or is at least very out of practice — which is probably why you’ve kept it locked up for so long.

But fear not: CHROMAom is a startup that wants to help, by making it as easy as possible to express yourself creatively in a way that won’t make your friends giggle or cringe. It boils down self-expression to the creation of color palettes — a smattering of five colors that look good together — and tonight, it’s releasing an app called ColorSchemer for the iPhone. You can grab the app from the App Store right here for $2.99.

CHROMAom actually has a fairly interesting history — the startup resulted from the fusion of color-sharing community COLOURlovers and ColorSchemer, which makes software for matching colors. After the companies merged, CHROMAom received funding from Y Combinator earlier this year.

Fire up the ColorSchemer app and it will prompt you to start throwing colors together. This is pretty intuitive — you tap on a color wheel, then tap the next open spot in your palette, tap the color wheel again, and so on. But what if you’re still having trouble coming up with something you’re proud of? Well, ColorSchemer has you covered — take a snapshot of something that you thinks looks cool, and it lets you select the colors present in that photo.

You can then take this color palette and share it with the 450,000 members on COLOURlovers, the social network that revolves around designs and colors. The app includes other COLOURlovers integration as well: you can browse through palettes shared by otherusers, leave comments, mark your favorite palettes, and use the other social features on the site.

Will it be a hit? Probably not on the same order as photo-based creative sharing apps like Instagram, but the application is polished and already has an established audience of color fans. My only major gripe is that you can’t currently upload the photo you’ve used to generate a palette, but the company says that this will be coming in the next release.

CHROMAom says that it’s profitable — while the COLOURlovers social network is free, the company generates money through its software sales (including a desktop version of ColorSchemer), advertising, and sponsorships.