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Interaction of Color App

Josef Albers' influential book on color reimagined for the iPad

by David Graver in Tech on 15 August 2013

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In 1963, Yale University Press published a book that would change the way people approached color. Now, in partnership with The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and developed by award-winning design and technology firm Potion, Josef Albers' "Interaction of Color" returns—as an interactive iPad application. This is no reissue, it's an imaginative exploration on balance, partnering and emotion—with surprises in tow.

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50 years after its first iteration as a handbook and teaching aid, this influential classic—which has inspired artist and designers everywhere—is more accessible than ever. The full digital version contains the entire text and original plate commentary. Over 125 of the original color studies, including the “flaps” and moving pieces have also been incorporated. This modernized edition doesn't stop there.

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The iPad app showcases video interviews with noteworthy practitioners such as textile designer Christopher Farr, graphic designer Peter Mendelsund, painters Anoka Faruqee and Brice Marden, product designer Brian Mullan (director of sourcing and product development at Fab), quilt and fabric designer Denyse Schmidt, architect Anabelle Seldorf, and cultural historian Nicholas Fox Weber (executive director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation). There is also archival video of Albers in the classroom. In true app fashion, the Albers' book contains an interactive color palette tool. Over 60 interactive plates and studies allow for color experimentation. Users can solve Albers' thoughtful puzzles with a vast array of color swatches and patterns, then share and store pairings.

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More than just an opportunity to revisit the text, this app is for anyone who wants to learn more about thinking creatively regarding color and its uses. A limited version of the Interaction of Color app is available free from the App Store on iPad and the complete version is available as an in-app purchase for $10.

Images courtesy of Interaction of Color

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