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I am working on an app that displays various colors for kids to choose from. So, we'll have a red, a blue, a yellow, etc. These are not real objects, just a small image (like the one attached) that represents a color.enter image description here

They are all 600x600px squares.

I have been asked to include one for Silver, one for Gold, and one for Bronze (if possible), but to make them look more "realistic" (which I take to mean they need something besides plain RGB colors).

What I'm looking for is an approach to creating "realistic" swatches for these metallic colors. I realize this is likely a very broad category, and not being fluent with graphic design, I wonder if anyone can make suggestions to approaches. I will be fumbling through this with Inkscape. Any suggestions appreciated.

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You can use gradients for this. Below is a screenshot, but illustrator comes with quite a few metallic swatches by default.

Metallic Gradients

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    The key here is that 'silver, gold, and bronze' aren't really colors. They are materials--more specifically, surfaces that are (typically) shiny and reflective. Silver = shiny gray. Gold = shiny yellow. Bronze = shiny brown. What these gradients have is a white light highlight and is what makes them look shiny. – DA01 Sep 4 '14 at 21:56
  • Agree with @DA01 - these are surfaces of objects, not colours as such. And btw -the question was for inkscape, not photoshop or illustrator. – benteh Sep 4 '14 at 23:12
  • Thanks to both for your replies. This answer did give me an approach. – RegularExpression Sep 5 '14 at 7:07
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    @Eddie A. you mention Illustrator but this question ask for Inkscape program so I think it isn't going to be so helpful. – PhoneixS Apr 29 '15 at 11:28
  • @PhoneixS I would disagree as this is a method that can be used with any program that has color gradient editor. – Eddie Adolf Apr 29 '15 at 11:32
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If you're working with flat color and not textures or gradients, this is not going to be perfect, as others have noted. However, you can suggest these metallic tones with the right color. If you go that route, the only thing that will make your intent clear is to label them.

Gold is a muted yellow, eg #d5a500.

Bronze is a muted yellow orange, eg #a17419.

Silver is light grey, eg #b7b7b7.

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