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Welcome to Creative Fuel, our series to jumpstart your creative process with helpful tips and tools from industry experts. This month we’re offering up resources to help propel you through the world of color theory.

Creative Fuel: The Importance & Impact of Color Christopher Farr

Christopher Farr, Textile Designer & Artist, on color

Color theory is a science in itself. People devote their careers and lives to exploring how color affects different people and cultures. As a design professional, you know the importance and impact color plays in your work. Color theory is often subjective, and takes a lot of experimentation to land on the perfect hue solution.

Develop an eye for color

Josef Albers was an accomplished designer, typographer, photographer, painter and color theorist, who’s best known for revolutionizing the application of color. He created the ultimate learning tool with his book, Interaction of Color, first published in 1963. With lessons in color theory alongside practical exercises, Albers encourages you not only to read, but actively experiment with colors to fine tune your ability and perception. Help develop your eye for color, and the sense for color relationships with this resource, now available as a stunning iPad app, as reported by Gizmodo.

Creative Fuel: The Importance & Impact of Color Josef Albers' Interaction of Color

Place practice before theory with Josef Albers Interaction of Color


Now that this powerful publication is available digitally, the folks at Yale University Press have re-envisioned a way to experience Interaction of Color. With the iPad app you can read the text, view the swatches and peruse over two hours of expert commentary. But what is most exciting is the ability to interact with Albers’ color plates, actively experimenting with colors. The color study exercises help you grasp the concepts and see color differently. You can even create your own color studies and share them with your team or social network. #AlbersIoC

Exploring Albers’ essays and curated plates can help you think more philosophically about color theory. This app as a whole really shows you the impact of your color choice.

Creative Fuel: The Importance & Impact of Color Peter Mendelsund

Peter Mendelsund, Graphic Designer & Art Director, on color


There are lots of tools out there for creating and sharing color palettes. Adobe Kuler is my application of choice. Start with a particular color and you can toggle between different groupings such as analogous, triad, and compound colors. Upload an image and Kuler creates a color theme straight from your photograph. As an Adobe Creative Cloud service, you can save palettes to your Adobe ID and explore existing themes through the web app. Or download the free Adobe Kuler app and have this useful color wheel accessible on your devices.

Let us know what you think about the Interaction of Color iPad App and Adobe Kuler by commenting below. We’d love to know how you are using these tools and tips we share on Creative Fuel each month. Check back often to glean some design advice!


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