ColorChords is an ongoing project inspired by Johannes Itten's Color Star. The designs represent chord diagrams for guitar. The 12 chord groups are represented by the 12 colors of Itten's color wheel. Each chord is expressed in split-complementary colors—for example: C = red + yellow-green + blue-green.
The Mehlhaus Color Chord Cards, manufactured by Moo, include 48 chord diagrams for tenor guitar: 12 chords in four variations: major, minor, major 7th and minor 7th.
I began teaching Principles of Visual Language at the School of Visual Arts in 2002. Many of the original assignments, like the tangram and color wheel projects, are still in play—the lessons in these assignments are essential parts of a designer's education.
Every year, I try to introduce a new assignment, and occasionally one is good enough to add to next year's syllabus. Sometimes, a new assignment is so good that it feels like I've discovered diamonds. It happened on 11/11/15—the collaborative Tape Drawing.
Playing with Color is a workbook of color experiments for professional graphic designers, students of art and design, and DIY enthusiasts—a highly accessible and playful approach to the serious study of color.
Published by Rockport Publishers, 2013.
Available in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese translations!