The present study considers the possibility of using digital technologies to improve established color studies teaching methods, which are largely based on visual evaluation. Experiments utilized in this study are based on work outlined in Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color (2009). Albers, a famous artist and art educator, has made significant contributions to the field of color studies. In this paper, the researchers conduct two experiments to assess the efficacy of two different approaches to Albers’ traditional methods of color studies pedagogy by seeking to replicate examples from Interaction of Color.

In the first approach, modern ICC-profile-based color management tools are used with an inkjet printer to determine if two illustrations featured in Interaction of Color can be faithfully reproduced. In the second approach, color measurement technologies are used to ascertain if colorimetry can be useful in selecting optimal paper samples from a set of Color-aid papers, a collection of 314 screen printed papers especially utilized by students studying color in curricula prescribed by Albers.

The illustrations selected from Interaction of Color for the study are based on the visual phenomena described as ‘Two Colors as One’ and ‘One Color as Two’; these phenomena are otherwise termed ‘simultaneous contrast’ (e.g.: Long, 2015; Fairchild, 2005, Berns, 2000).

The results of this study reveal limitations of these digital methods as compared to visual evaluation when replicating the visual effects of illustrations from Interaction of Color and provide insights that may enhance future curricula in color study fields.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit

Spring 3-2019


Presented at the 71st Annual Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) Conference, March 17-20, 2019, Minneapolis, MN.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

School of Media Sciences (CET)


RIT – Main Campus