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Create custom colour palettes, sample fonts with Adobe Capture

Updated: May 8, 2020

Finding design inspiration doesn't always come easily, but using Adobe Capture can help simplify the process.

Whether you're out for a walk, at the grocery store, or even in your home office, the Adobe Capture app allows you to sample colours, recognize fonts and even snap a shot of patterns that you can later use in InDesign layouts.

In this tutorial, I will go over two ways of using Adobe Capture to enhance InDesign layouts. First, I will show you how to sample colours from an image to create a Color Swatch theme palette. Also, I will take a photo of a typeface on a sign and find a similar font in Adobe's Typekit for inspiration.

Before we get started, it's important to note that you will need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription in order to complete all the steps in this tutorial. Non-subscribers can still use the app to sample colours, fonts, etc., but will not be able to sync to the CC Libraries.

Adobe Capture

Capturing Colours

  1. To capture colours within an image and create palette, open Adobe Capture and select the Colors tab.

  2. Point to the photo or object in which you'd like to sample from and you will notice five target circles will appear, moving around and sampling colours.

  3. When satisfied with the selection, press the capture button to lock in the colours.

  4. The swatch palette will appear but before saving, make any other edits by pressing on the specific colour in the swatch and adjust the RGB sliders. If you want to change the colour mode, this can be done in the bottom right corner. Press RGB and select CMYK, Lab or HSB.

  5. Click Save.

From here, you can now rename the swatch color theme and save it to a specific library in the CC Libraries. When you open InDesign, you will notice the colour theme is now in the library in which you saved it. Right click and Add Theme to Swatches if you want to bring in the palette into the current project's Swatches panel.

Capturing Type

  1. To capture fonts, shift over to the Type tab.

  2. This will open up your phone camera to take a photo of the typeface you want to sample. Line it up in the view finder box as best as you can and take the photo.

  3. Adobe will find similar fonts in its Typekit to save to the CC Libraries. Navigate through the fonts available and when you find one that's similar to the one you took a photo of, press Save.

  4. Save the typeface to the library of your choice and press Save.

Much like when the colour theme was saved, it can now be found in the specific CC Libraries folder you saved it to in Adobe InDesign.

From once the font has been activated, it's ready to use. Simply select the type you would like to update with your Selection Tool and click on the font in the CC Libraries. It will also appear in your font menu dropdown.


The mockup used in the feature image is from Anthony Boyd Graphics. Check out his site! He has some fantastic mockups for creators to download.

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