Here’s a easy way to pick colors from vintage fruit crate labels for your graphic design projects.

I’ve always been a fan of vintage fruit crate labels. Last year I bought a poster called Picturesque Pears from the Southern Oregon Historical Society while visiting Hanley Farm. During this year’s Sacramento Museum Day I busted out two $20s to purchase a behind the counter gem from the California State Railroad Museum: Label Art from Dover Publications, featuring over 400 samples of label art.

I just adore the variety and diversity of vintage fruit crate labels. The typography, colors, composition, layout made each label a work of art.

How to grab colors from vintage graphics

So here’s how to use colors from vintage fruit crate labels.

Get a good digital copy

As I mentioned earlier, I bought both a poster and a book containing royalty-free artwork. The poster is easy to snap a photo using my phone, whereas the book comes with a CD-ROM containing digital copies of the artwork.

Import image to Adobe Color CC

If you go to, you can create a five-color palette from any uploaded image. The interface is pretty easy to use – just drag the little circles to places on the image where you want to sample.


Creating a color palette from a photo.

After you select the colors you want to sample from, you can go back to the color wheel mode where you can make adjustments to your colors.


Refining colors using the color wheel.

Once you’re done, you can save the swatches to your Adobe Creative Cloud library if you want, and publish it for others to discover.

Color_wheel___Color_schemes_-_Adobe_Color_CC 2.png

After saving and publishing my color theme, I’m able to post the colors on Pintrest, Facebook or Twitter like this:

Would you be interested in another way to grab colors from vintage graphics?

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