Author:Tom Trenka
since:Dojo Toolkit 1.1+

The Palette is a constructor that allows to create a 5-color palette either from a single base color and a color theory, or a set of passed colors. In addition to generating a color palette, it can also transform the colors in that palette, similar to the way one can transform graphics using dojox.gfx.

Within DojoX, the Palette is used extensively within the dojox.charting project for themes.

To create a Palette based on a set of colors, simply pass them into the constructor:

var p = new dojox.color.Palette("#f1c4d2");
var p = new dojox.color.Palette([ c1, c2, c3, c4, c5 ]);
var p = new dojox.color.Palette(myColor);  // instanceof dojo.Color
var p1 = new dojox.color.Palette(p);       // clone the last palette

To access the colors in the palette, simply iterate through the .colors property:

var p = dojox.color.Palette.generate("#789abc", "splitComplementary");
dojo.forEach(p.colors, function(c){
    // do something with each dojo.Color object

To perform a translation on a palette, pass a keyword arguments object to the transform method of the palette. The keyword arguments object takes the form of:

var args = {
    use: "rgb" || "rgba" || "hsl" || "hsv" || "cmy" || "cmyk",
    dr, dg, db, da,
    dc, dm, dy, dk,
    dh, ds, dl, dv

All keywords are optional, including the use keyword–though you’ll probably want to pass it anyways.

The use keyword specifies which color model you are using for the transform. If you don’t pass it, transform will attempt to “best guess” the model based on the passed parameters.

The parameters beginning with d all specify the change to the particular attribute of the color model in question. For example, to increase the hue on all colors in a palette, you’d do this:

var transformed = myPalette.transform({
    use: "hsv",
    dh: 20

This will shift all colors in the palette using the HSV model (Hue/Saturation/Value), and add 20 degrees to the hue angle of the color in question. Note that the .transform method returns a new instance of dojox.color.Palette, and leaves the original alone.

In addition, all Palettes can be cloned using the .clone method:

var cloned = myPalette.clone();

If you would like to generate a palette using a specific color theory, you can do so through the “static” generate method, implemented directory on dojox.color.Palette. For example, if you want to generate a palette based on complimentary color theory:

var p = dojox.color.Palette.generate("#a245f9", "complementary");

Available color theory models (based on the color rules at Adobe Kuler) are:

  • analogous
  • monochromatic
  • triadic
  • complementary
  • splitComplementary
  • compound
  • shades


Color palettes based on color theory models

Create palettes based on a color theory by looping through all available models programmatically:

], function(array, domConstruct, Palette){
  var tbl = domConstruct.create('table', {
    style: { borderSpacing: '0 3px' }
  }, 'palette');
  for (palette in Palette.generators) {
    var tr = domConstruct.create('tr', null, tbl);
    var p = Palette.generate("#A62F00", palette);
    domConstruct.create('td', {
      innerHTML: palette,
      style: {
        verticalAlign: 'middle',
        paddingRight: '4px'
    }, tr);
    array.forEach(p.colors, function(color) {
      domConstruct.create('td', {
        style: {
          height: '24px',
          width: '18px',
          border: '1px solid black',
          backgroundColor: color.toHex()
      }, tr);
<div id="palette"></div>
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