Apple’s Color Palette (from Disk Utility to billboards)

Screenshot 2015-12-09 12.18.05

A few days ago I was looking through my computer’s Disk Utilities when I noticed an interesting set of colors that seemed much brighter and vibrant than what Apple typically uses. I really dug them, so I quickly compiled Apple’s color palette into a .ACO file (which you can view and download here).

Apple_Memory
Color by COLOURlovers

Then I tried creating a piece around Apple’s color palette using Hexels Pro, my favorite tool for trixel art. Heartbeats On The Moon was the end result:

Pretty right?

Ever since I started working with this color set, I’ve noticed that Apple has been using them more than I first expected. Not just in Disk Utility, but all throughout OS 10 (at least in El Capitan) in little unexpected ways… like their new spinning-beach-ball-of-death animation!

spinning beach ball sisyphus

It’s likely that Apple chose these colors as an accessibility issue. I ran them through a color blindness simulator and they still seemed to be distinct enough to look through. It seems obvious, however, that El Capitan’s color palette is a clever nod back to the Apple ii days. As many folks have already pointed out, Apple has possibly been drawing from their old rainbow logo when designing their app icons for iOS.

apple colors icons inspiration

As I mentioned, once you notice this color set, you’ll start to see it everywhere.

I noticed that Apple have been using these colors a lot lately. For instance, in you laptops available storage info graph.

Just for shiggles, I thought it would be fun to see what Google’s logo would look like with Apple’s color palette:

google-to-apple-small