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.