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There are plenty of palette generators for the web, e.g., Color Scheme Designer . Among other stuff it can export schemes in XML. Is there a nice XSLT to convert it into STY file that I'd use with beamerposter? The caveat here is also that that generator uses RGB and not CMYK model.

I understand I can manually code all the stuff as I want like

\setbeamercolor*{normal text}{fg=tachameleon, bg=ta3gray}

Or are there other easy ways to create pleasantly looking themes?

I have a feeling that most of the themes are crafted by hands? Am I wrong?

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On behalf of all colorblinds I have to confess that I didn't understand your question :-) Joking aside, do you want to come up with a new color scheme? If so, it would be really helpful for you to read the color definitions in the original beamer theme files that you can find in your TeX distribution folder. As with all good things, you need to define all the fine details to make it good so I am almost sure that there is no free lunch. –  percusse Apr 14 '12 at 0:35
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Another remark is that, web based color palettes are not even close to what makes a good palette for a presentation. Note that unlike the majority, I think a presentation is substantially different than a CSS design. –  percusse Apr 14 '12 at 0:38
    
I'm interested mostly in color themes for a poster. If "good" palette can loosely be defined, there must be a way to generate them in bulk. I did not say that straightforward conversion is exactly what I want. It might be one approach that at least provides some starting point. I understand that one particular approach won't fit all possible presentation themes. Beamer manual describes all possible dials but not how to tune and combine those unless I missed something. –  mlt Apr 14 '12 at 7:49
    
The beamerposter theme examples are a good place to start. You can see that every theme file has a color declaration section in the respective .sty file. Hence, the easiest is to take one and bit-by-bit modify it. It's not that cumbersome. –  percusse Apr 14 '12 at 10:38
    
So unless anyone else reply otherwise, I conclude that my assumption was correct. There is no "generator" of any kind out there and it is not just my bad google-fu. I did read manual and I did change stuff in beamerposter theme. It is a PITA to do it "bit-by-bit". –  mlt Apr 15 '12 at 5:29
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2 Answers

Well, once put it that way I agree there is no generator as such. Here is a part of my theme file I did some time ago. I used the tangocolors style file that comes with the templates.

\setbeamercolor{headline}{fg=tabutter,bg=white}
\setbeamercolor{footline}{fg=delftdarkblue, bg=white}
\setbeamercolor{separation line}{bg=delftblue}
\setbeamercolor{title in headline}{fg=delftdarkblue}
\setbeamercolor{author in headline}{fg=black}
\setbeamercolor{institute in headline}{fg=black}
\setbeamercolor{structure}{fg=ta3skyblue}
\setbeamercolor{author in head/foot}{fg=delftdarkblue, bg=white}
\setbeamercolor*{normal text}{fg=black, bg=delftdarkblue} %% <<== The overall background color change this
\setbeamercolor*{block title}{bg=delftblue,fg=white}
\setbeamercolor*{block body}{fg=black,bg=white}

It shouldn't be difficult to write up a small script to populate this color list once you know the colors. You can even use Excel's concatenate function. But as I commented what makes a good presentation palette needs to be defined. The rest is relatively simple and maybe you can provide such a tool and make all of the colorblinds happy :).

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While I agreed that web->printed or web->projector may not be a perfect translation for color palettes, however even aforementioned colorschemedesigner.com support colorblind adjustments if you really do care to target wide audience. What I don't like in tangocolors (that I also have used as is) is that all colors are named explicitly instead of like primary5, or secondaryA2 or alike. I just gave up at some point at changing tango colors and used them as is. So unless someone else will step in, I'll accept your answer in a bit that there is no such generator or whatsoever. –  mlt Apr 16 '12 at 17:23
    
@mlt I think I now understand you better after your comment. You can set up the colors in my answer relative to the palette primary, palette secondary etc. (See The Color Palettes section p.189. Then you should be able to create palettes or at least you can convert them to beamer palettes. That way would ensure that the proper colors always hit the same target on each palette. –  percusse Apr 17 '12 at 9:50
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My university (UCL) has a style guide and guidelines for the colours that should be used in all publications (i.e. a corporate identity). I found this to be a good place to start in selecting colours for a student poster. Style guides will (hopefully) have been designed by graphic designers who should know which combinations of colours work!

I created a colour palette (which I've included below), and then referred to this using \setbeamercolour commands in a .sty file.

% Defines the palette for use with LaTeX according to the UCL Style Guide

% white 
\definecolor{uclwhite}{rgb}{1, 1, 1}

%   UCL style guide colours.
%   Number refer to level of tint.
%   100%    1
%    70%    2
%    50%    3
%    20%    4

 % UCL style guide dk purple
\definecolor{ucl1dkpurple}{RGB}{82,66,91}
\definecolor{ucl2dkpurple}{RGB}{134,122,140}
\definecolor{ucl3dkpurple}{RGB}{168,160,173}
\definecolor{ucl4dkpurple}{RGB}{220,217,222}

 % UCL style guide dk red
\definecolor{ucl1dkred}{RGB}{90,27,49}
\definecolor{ucl2dkred}{RGB}{139,95,110}
\definecolor{ucl3dkred}{RGB}{172,141,152}
\definecolor{ucl4dkred}{RGB}{222,209,214}

 % UCL style guide dk blue
\definecolor{ucl1dkblue}{RGB}{0,67,89}
\definecolor{ucl2dkblue}{RGB}{76,123,138}
\definecolor{ucl3dkblue}{RGB}{127,161,172}
\definecolor{ucl4dkblue}{RGB}{204,217,222}

 % UCL style guide dk green
\definecolor{ucl1dkgreen}{RGB}{75,70,32}
\definecolor{ucl2dkgreen}{RGB}{129,125,98}
\definecolor{ucl3dkgreen}{RGB}{165,162,143}
\definecolor{ucl4dkgreen}{RGB}{219,218,210}

 % UCL style guide black
\definecolor{ucl1black}{RGB}{0,0,0}
\definecolor{ucl2black}{RGB}{75,75,75}
\definecolor{ucl3black}{RGB}{128,128,128}
\definecolor{ucl4black}{RGB}{205,205,205}

 % UCL style guide pink
\definecolor{ucl1pink}{RGB}{145,24,83}
\definecolor{ucl2pink}{RGB}{178,93,134}
\definecolor{ucl3pink}{RGB}{200,139,169}
\definecolor{ucl4pink}{RGB}{233,209,221}

 % UCL style guide md red
\definecolor{ucl1mdred}{RGB}{195,58,45}
\definecolor{ucl2mdred}{RGB}{213,117,108}
\definecolor{ucl3mdred}{RGB}{225,156,150}
\definecolor{ucl4mdred}{RGB}{243,216,213}

 % UCL style guide md blue
\definecolor{ucl1mdblue}{RGB}{69,156,189}
\definecolor{ucl2mdblue}{RGB}{124,186,209}
\definecolor{ucl3mdblue}{RGB}{162,205,222}
\definecolor{ucl4mdblue}{RGB}{218,235,242}

 % UCL style guide md green
\definecolor{ucl1mdgreen}{RGB}{130,141,55}
\definecolor{ucl2mdgreen}{RGB}{167,175,115}
\definecolor{ucl3mdgreen}{RGB}{192,198,155}
\definecolor{ucl4mdgreen}{RGB}{230,232,215}

 % UCL style guide orange
\definecolor{ucl1orange}{RGB}{215,123,35}
\definecolor{ucl2orange}{RGB}{227,162,101}
\definecolor{ucl3orange}{RGB}{235,189,145}
\definecolor{ucl4orange}{RGB}{247,229,211}

  % UCL style guide lt purple
\definecolor{ucl1ltpurple}{RGB}{191,175,188}
\definecolor{ucl2ltpurple}{RGB}{210,199,208}
\definecolor{ucl3ltpurple}{RGB}{223,215,221}
\definecolor{ucl4ltpurple}{RGB}{242,239,242}

 % UCL style guide yellow
\definecolor{ucl1yellow}{RGB}{229,175,0}
\definecolor{ucl2yellow}{RGB}{237,199,76}
\definecolor{ucl3yellow}{RGB}{242,215,127}
\definecolor{ucl4yellow}{RGB}{250,239,204}

 % UCL style guide lt blue
\definecolor{ucl1ltblue}{RGB}{168,192,209}
\definecolor{ucl2ltblue}{RGB}{194,211,223}
\definecolor{ucl3ltblue}{RGB}{211,223,232}
\definecolor{ucl4ltblue}{RGB}{238,242,246}

% UCL style guide brt green
\definecolor{ucl1brtgreen}{RGB}{204,209,88}
\definecolor{ucl2brtgreen}{RGB}{219,223,138}
\definecolor{ucl3brtgreen}{RGB}{229,232,171}
\definecolor{ucl4brtgreen}{RGB}{245,246,222}

% UCL style guide stone
\definecolor{ucl1stone}{RGB}{217,214,204}
\definecolor{ucl2stone}{RGB}{228,226,219}
\definecolor{ucl3stone}{RGB}{236,234,229}
\definecolor{ucl4stone}{RGB}{255,255,255}

% UCL style guide lt green
\definecolor{ucl1ltgreen}{RGB}{185,193,147}
\definecolor{ucl2ltgreen}{RGB}{206,211,179}
\definecolor{ucl3ltgreen}{RGB}{220,224,201}
\definecolor{ucl4ltgreen}{RGB}{241,243,233}
share|improve this answer
    
Thank you for sharing your palette! However I'm more interested in how to generate themes in bulk based on ideas from color theory. If all posters, presentations, etc are made in same colors, it is kind of odd. –  mlt Sep 25 '12 at 21:26
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