Interaction Of Color… the App!

If you haven’t heard of ‘Interaction of Color,’ let us treat you to a book that has, since its first publication 50 years ago, been widely adopted by artists and designers alike as THE reader on color. More than just a masterful textbook of color theory the book, written by Josef Albers, posed questions and interactive problems to help artists and students gain complex understandings of just how colors intermingled, clashed, blended, and affected one another. Recently this book has been remade into a fantastic interactive app from Yale Press.

The iPad app is true to its source material but brings the content to life.  First of all the app contains the full text with easy search, and one touch word definition. But the most striking part of the app are the plates. Here the colors become not just printed pages in a book but an animated interactive tool.  The plates let you play with and test the theories in the book along side the text.

Many of the app features are inspired by Albers classroom teaching techniques which used colored paper to illustrate color theory. The digital equivalents feel wonderfully similar to playing with paper. Individual shapes and colors are rearrangeable with a swipe of your finger. The functionality of the app lets you pick through layers of hue, saturation, and brightness, The app expands our ability to test  color interaction way beyond what paper has to offer making it a natural pedagogical extension of Albers famous book.

This is a clear winner in the interactive textbook race as well.  Both textbook writers and schools are faced with student populations increasingly familiar with digital devices and the ease of their upgraded functionality against which old fashioned textbooks, without search, save, define  feel stale and behind the times. If you are in the mood for some serious color interaction this app is a great place to start.

Paint Your House with Music

We love new sources of color inspiration at Colour Studio and this week we have a great addition to the list. It’s not often you think of starting with music when deciding on paint colors for you home but now there is a new app that lets you do just that.

Paintlist from Dutch Boy paints is a free app for iPhone and Google Play which lets you choose any song to translate into a color palette.   Similar to the well known music app Shazam, which identifies the title and artist for any song, Paintlist can also either listen to live music or select from your phones saved songs. Once the song is processed Paintlist creates three custom color palettes from it. The palettes are made to reflect the tempo, attitude and general feel of the songs. 

A danceable electronic tune, for example with a driving but not fast beat gave us the high warmth combination of Popcorn, Jazz and Convivial Red, while mixes for aggressive heavy metal, or pulsing reggae turned up individual palettes all their own. 

The app has its problems with its listening software being less than optimal, and the novelty factor wearing off after one or two uses but it does ask the question of what new ways you can inspire yourself when it comes to color.  Take the camera out on your next hike and photograph trees clothed in ivy vines, observe  the hues of fog grey or  zoom in on a mossy patch of ground and bark.   Listen to your favorite music letting it fill your head with pops of interesting color,  slice visuals you love from  magazines, take screen shots of websites, fashions and  there is Pinterest and Tumblr for inspiration. Color is everywhere even in music, so we want to know how do you find yours?