Using a color-picking tool can be a very personal preference. Some long-time Mac users prefer using a color picker which mimics the default OS X style, like the image on the left below. Long time Photoshop tend to users prefer Adobe’s offering — the adjacent screen shot. Whilst these users may well believe they prefer one color-picker over another, is their preference based on familiarity rather than objective superiority?
I’d argue that not enough people think about this part of their design workflow. Have you ever seen a color in an application and wanted to know exactly what it was? I imagine you’ve taken a screenshot of the app, imported it into Phosohop — then used Adobe’s color-picker to have a look? What a mess.
JUMPZERO, a design and development shop comprised of Nicola Armellini, Yari D’areglia and Claudio Ortolina, has just released Frank DeLoupe, a color-picking utility for OS X designed to be helpful and personable. Unlike OS X or Adobe’s color-picking utilities, Frank was created with a warm, likable touch. Not only is Frank friendly, he’s smart, too. Photoshop integration was a number one priority when JUMPZERO was designing Frank. Designers can breathe a sigh of relief — finally, there’s an app which means importing screenshots into Photoshop only to nab a color is a thing of the past.
The workflow of Frank is simple: Set a keyboard shortcut to activate Frank, browse using the loupe to the color you want to know the value of — and you’re done. Frank can even copy the color to your clipboard after you’ve selected it.
I’ve had a chat with Nicola Armellini, co-founder of JUMPZERO, about the creation of Frank. Here’s what he has to say about this handy app:
Frank has been one of those typical situations in which you ask yourself “why didn’t anyone think about this before”? It happened quite rapidly to be honest, we were working on some project, maybe a Gradient update, and then eventually realized that Remote Connections in Photoshop could be put to good use with something similar to the color picker we had built in the past.
How many times, as a designer, did you have to make a screenshot, import to Photoshop, pick the color, delete the image? Countless. We thought we might do something about it. And there he goes.
We also called it with a full name to give him a bit of personality while developing it and then it grew on us so much, it felt natural to keep calling it Frank. Hope you guys like it :D
I love the touch of personality the name adds to the app. I always appreciate applications and utilities which have been designed and planned with a great attention to detail. Frank is no exception. I set my own keyboard shortcut, and instantly spent (far too much) time picking out my favourite hues from my current desktop wallpaper. Next time I forget the color scheme on my own website when making a few changes, I’ll launch Frank and help will be at hand.
Pick up Frank DeLoupe on the Mac App Store today, for $0.99, and he might just improve your whole day. Thanks, Frank!