Overview / Syllabus / Spring 13

PDF Downloads:



Color is one of the most powerful tools for designers. It can convey attitudes and feelings or subtle messages and has an immediate effect on the viewer.

This course will help you sharpen and train your eye to recognize, describe, define, replicate, and memorize color in everyday experience, especially in communication design.

Color, unlike any other subject in visual communication, is very complex and frequently misunderstood. Color, which has physical, psychological, and/or learned behavioral attributes, can shape effective visual communication.

As an artist or a graphic designer, your must first gain a fundamental understanding of the logic of color structure. The best way to gain this knowledge is to experience color by mixing it as well as organizing color. Your next step is to apply your knowledge to digital color and to evaluate its visual effects. The overall goal is to enhance your ability to choose the right colors for your projects in order to achieve visual balance or tension and to create more meaningful messages.

The course is divided into two sections:
Color Theory focuses on the history and evolution of color, its organization, relationship, interaction and arrangement. Next to assignments using found color samples you’ll paint color exercises in acrylics using the teachings of historically prominent color theorists like Albert Munsell, Johannes Itten, and Josef Albers.

Digital Color focuses on the printed page and the computer screen. You will experiment by combining the 4-color process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) that printing presses use today and compare it to the RGB color system (monitors). You will work on various color projects in Adobe Illustrator.


After completing this course, you will be able to:

Attendance and Grading

You are expected to conduct yourself courteously and professionally.

Here are some guidelines to follow:
Work attentively and seriously. Maintain your concentration and focus as you work through all the exercises. The simple and repetitive exercises form the foundation of your future career as a professional. There will be lectures and lessons during the class period. Arrive to class on time and stay for the entire class period.

As a professional courtesy, if you cannot come to class or have to leave notify me before class. If you miss a class, please notify me about the reason of the absence. Bring all the materials as well as the required book to every class. If you are absent for 3 or more consecutive classes, your grade will be reevaluated. You are responsible for getting the class handouts and instructions from one of your classmates. Notify your classmates to pick up materials and explain the instructions to you.

There will be 1 exam throughout the course. The midterm will consist of questions from the lectures, the handouts, and the required text Designer’s Color Manual. Study guides will be distributed and used for review for the midterm.

Your responsibility will be to save your work and compile it in an organized folder as your final portfolio or color theory book. If the final portfolio or color theory book is incomplete, the final grade will be dropped to a lower grade.

growth from class to class is based on concept, working process, problem solving, presentation, participation and motivation.
A = Consistent and substantial growth and excellent work. Excellent work consistently goes above and beyond what is required.
B = Above average and consistent growth and above average work.
C = Average growth and average work.
D = Dissatisfactory growth, incomplete work.
E = Unacceptable growth, incomplete work.

If you have any concerns about the class or if you need to see me outside of class, e-mail to me to schedule an appointment.