Skip to Main Content

Interaction of Color: Complete Digital Edition: Information

Interaction of Color logo

Interaction of Color: Complete Digital Edition

The Interaction of Color: Complete Digital Edition website offers an entirely new way for users to experience Josef Albers’s original masterwork. The website incorporates interactive features that help students understand the book’s fundamental concepts, study the plates, and experiment with their own designs. The site features full text and plate commentary, describing Albers’s renowned principles on how to see and understand color.

  • Includes 122 original color studies, many allowing users to move pieces to see the effects of the colors against different backgrounds.
  • Presents 60 interactive plates that reproduce the experience of working with paper, a captivating feature inspired by Albers’s teaching methodologies.
  • Allows students to create, save, and export their own version of interactive plates in .SVG and .PDF formats.
  • Features over two hours of video commentary, including archival video of Albers and interviews with experts explaining key principles.
  • Provides supplemental resources, including video interviews with leading contemporary designers and artists explaining how they use color in their professional practices.

You must create an account on the Interaction of Color website with your CIA email address. If you have an account at the A&AePortal, your access is the same on the Interaction of Color website. If you are off campus, you will need to login to the CIA Library proxy before you can access the site. 

Please contact the library if you are having trouble accessing the site. 



Screenshot of IOC webpage


Read the original text on any device

  • Easily navigate between text, commentary, and 122 of the original edition’s plates
  • Take notes, highlight text, add bookmarks, and share links to the text
  • Get definitions of key terms with an embedded glossary specific to Albers’s teaching.
  • Easily zoom into plates and quickly link to the interactive plates.


IOC screenshot definitions of words


IOC screenshot of plates


Study the plates as never before

  • Inspired by Albers's teaching methodologies, each plate is designed to reproduce the experience of working with cut and colored paper.
  • Use the magnifier to get a closer look at the scans of the original silk-screened plates.
  • Move the "pieces" of interactive plates to see how the same color can look different when shown on different grounds.


IOC screenshot interactive plates


Create, share, and save your own exercises

  • Place color swatches into the framework of the plate; easily change and refine color selections to customize your design.
  • Share your designs with classmates, instructors, and friends.
  • Export an SVG or PDF of your plate to open and reuse in your favorite design software.


IOC screenshot showing videos


Gain a deeper understanding through video commentaries

  • Videos of scholars, designers, and Albers’s former students discussing the text and plates. 
  • Albers’s most challenging principles are explained and clarified.
  • Archival audio and video of Josef Albers talking you through special exercises.


IOC screenshot other resources


And more resources to support learning

  • Watch archival video of Josef Albers in the studio and classroom.
  • Hear Albers’s students describing his teaching style and specific lessons.
  • Learn from practicing artists, designers, and architects as they discuss how they use color.


Information for faculty

For faculty - how to use the site in class

Watch the videos in class

  • Show the videos of Albers describing after-image or middle mixtures.
  • Watch short, informative and beautifully filmed videos about Albers as a teacher and the history of Interaction of Color. Help your students gain perspective on how the book was developed – by students and for students.
  • Show the “Color in Practice Videos” to your students. These videos are designed to give students perspective on why understanding the relationships between color is so effective for their current and future work.
  • Show commentary videos to reinforce concepts for specific plates
  • The video on CMYK vs RGB is helpful for those designing on their computers for printing.

Use the exercises for critiques

  • Let students work out problems directly on their device and have them share on screen with their classmates
  • Easily share important plates in class
  • The website hosts 122 plates from the original edition that can be scrolled through for viewing in class. This is your opportunity to share the full range of studies from the original edition with your students. You may even discover some you haven’t seen before!


Project the plates and video in the classroom

  • Connect your personal device to your AV equipment to project the text, videos and plates

Contact the CIA Library