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Interactive iPad App 'Interaction of Color' Brings Josef Albers' Famous Color Theories to Life

Interaction of Color appOne of my absolute favorite aspects of aesthetic theory is color — their “meanings”, their composition and pairing, and how their aesthetic energy effects a human brain. Josef Albers basically rewrote the book on color theory with his 1963 Interaction of Colorand now Yale University Press has made his invaluable teachings available in an iPad app. Full of Albers’ texts, color studies, as well as 125 color plates, videos, interviews, and studies for users to complete, this free interactive app offers an engaging way to learn Albers essential color theories not only for filmmakers, but all creatives whose understanding of color is integral to their work.

The free version of the Interaction of Color iPad app allows you to access Chapter 10 of Albers’ book, as well as text, video commentary, two interactive plates, and the palette tool. The full version, which is available as an in-app purchase for $9.99, offers the full text, 125 plates, 60 interactive studies, and over two hours of video commentary.

Users can conduct their own color studies with a palette of over 250 swatches, and once completed, the studies and color pairings can be exported to software like Illustrator or Photoshop.

Check out the videos below to get an idea of what you can do with the app. First up is the promo/demo:

Here’s a walk-thru of the Interaction of Color app:

And finally, a video with commentaries from several creative professionals:

For filmmakers, this app can not only be a supremely important teaching tool, but also a way to really flesh out the theories being taught. Working with the color plates and swatches could help built your knowledge of color aesthetics, while at the same time helping you determine the color pallet of your next project.

Interaction of Color is available here on iTunes. If you’re like me and don’t own an iPad, there’s always the printed version of Josef Albers’ book.


[via Creativity Online]


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Albers is one of my aesthetic inspirations, his work and work ethic are one of a kind. Thanks for the post!

  • This is brilliant. Thanks.

  • thadon calico on 08.12.13 @ 11:50AM

    I wish they had this app for android…iPad gets all the professional app love.

  • Android?

  • Android?

  • Yes, humans?

  • WTF!
    And we have to play with something so precious like colors on shitty 6bit displays?!?!?!?!?!
    Thats realy bad joke.
    Please take me out of this 6/8bit world now!
    Its like to be blind.

  • junior sample on 08.26.13 @ 1:24AM

    Let’s be honest. Albers is a very limited way of playing with color, with a primary lesson being: Color is relative. But we know that as artists, so while this sort of play is fun, it doesn’t have many real world applications unless one is doing sort of color based op art. Furthermore, as pointed out, Albers was VERY SPECIFIC with color and while you’ll get the since with the app, again it won’t really show what he was demonstrating. I teach color and have for years, and I touch on Albers in one class, otherwise we are moving on to more practical and frankly interesting things. Students today get the interaction thing (and we have also moved on with our language, the normal term is chromatic induction) and they get bored quite quickly. We no longer live in 1979. Our world of color is much, much bigger than Albers. Also there are free sites to play with color that will save anyone ten bucks.