Monday, April 20, 2015

How to Create Color Grid Charts with Picmonkey

Ever since I started taking custom orders for my bridesmaid bags, I’ve created color charts for fabric choice references. Each time I purchase a selection of new fabrics I update my color charts. It can be quite a chore to make these updates and I’m always looking for a better way to make these charts easy to read, true to color and streamline the process.

how to create color grid charts with picmonkey
Because I learned how to create a collage in Picmonkey and appreciated how easy that was, I chose to use it again for this task.

SCAN IN YOUR FABRICS

I’ve used different techniques to capture a sample of my fabric offerings. I started by taking photos of each sample but found that the color was too inconsistent. I also tried capturing photos from fabric websites but they look too digitized.

The easiest and most consistent way for me to capture the realistic color and texture of my fabrics is by scanning them. I use a CanoScan LiDe 700F.

EDIT PHOTO COLOR AND SIZE

Even though my scanner does a great job of capturing color and texture I always find it necessary to edit them a bit.

You’ll also find that when using Picmonkey to create collages you’ll need to reduce the size of your photos. If you don’t the program will block you from adding all the photos you might want. Because I used 25 photos to fill my chart, I reduced them to 800 x 800 pixels.

CREATE A GRID CHART 

I like to use a 5 x 5 square grid for my fabric charts. Anything smaller is too hard to read in my opinion. I showed you how to create a collage design in my previous post. I used this same technique to change a square template into a grid of 25 squares. 

Once I created my grid I simply dropped the photos in. Since I like to add a reference number to each fabric square I went straight to the “edit” screen, but to my dismay I couldn’t retrieve the grid to use for the next 25 fabrics.

My solution to this roadblock was to create the fabric charts and “save” them without the reference numbers added. After a completed chart was saved to my desktop I deleted the photos from the grid and the sidebar and added the next batch of 25. I repeated this process until all of my charts were finished. 

ADDING TEXT TO YOUR CHARTS 
Since my charts were now saved as photos, I opened Picmonkey again and used the “edit photo” function. Adding geometric shapes and text my charts was super easy this way!

If you are using Picmonkey to make collages or reference charts and you know any tricks for making this process easier I’d love to hear about it!!

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