Playing with color: 50 best graphic experiments for exploring color design principles

Unlock the secrets of color with "Playing with Color," a workbook filled with 50 graphic experiments that invite professionals, students, and self-taught designers to explore the fundamentals of color design.
Playing with color

Playing with color by Richard Mehl.


In the endlessly evolving field of graphic design, color holds the power to breathe life into concepts, evoke emotions, and convey messages without a single word. “Playing with Color: 50 Graphic Experiments for Exploring Color Design Principles” emerges as an essential resource for anyone eager to delve into the dynamic world of color design.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, an art student, or a passionate self-learner, this workbook is your gateway to understanding color’s profound impact on visual communication. Through a series of accessible, engaging experiments, “Playing with Color” guides readers on a vivid journey through the spectrum, offering a fresh perspective on the principles of color theory and application.


Playing with color

Playing with Color” is more than just a workbook—it’s an invitation to embark on a creative voyage to discover the essence and energy of color in design. The book is structured to foster a disciplined yet playful exploration of color, blending classic exercises inspired by the teachings of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers with original design projects.

Each experiment is a step towards mastering the language of color, designed not only to educate but also to inspire. Through engaging narratives and visually compelling displays, the workbook encourages readers to experiment with color, form, material, and craft, transforming theoretical knowledge into tangible, creative skill.

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Playing with color by Richard Mehl.


As we can read in the Domestika website: “In the early 2000s, a pivotal moment shaped the trajectory of my engagement with color theory. Richard Wilde, the esteemed chair of the Advertising and Graphic Design Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York, approached me with a challenge: to craft a foundational course in two-dimensional design and color theory.

This course, intended to prime students for the complexities of the advertising design program, was to be named Principles of Visual Language. Over the last decade, this endeavor has not only honed my approach to teaching but also deeply influenced the content of “Playing with Color.” Drawing inspiration from the groundbreaking work of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers, the exercises within this workbook are echoes of their pioneering assignments, reimagined for today’s creative minds. Itten’s exploration of color contrasts and his iconic twelve-hue color circle, alongside Albers’s investigations into color illusion, form the cornerstone of our study, offering a hands-on approach to understanding color’s dynamic potential.”


About Richard Mehl

Richard Mehl, the visionary behind “Playing with Color,” brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the study of color in design. As an educator and practitioner, Mehl’s approach to teaching color theory is rooted in the belief that learning is most effective when it is engaging and interactive. His background in graphic design and passion for color psychology are evident in the workbook’s thoughtful layout and the carefully curated experiments that fill its pages.

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Playing with color by Richard Mehl.


Mehl’s dedication to making color theory accessible to a wide audience has led to the creation of a workbook that serves as both a practical guide and a source of inspiration for designers and color enthusiasts around the world.

Playing with color: 50 graphic experiments for exploring color design principles

Playing with Color is a workbook of color experiments for professional graphic designers, students of art and design, self-taught designers.

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Wrap Up

Playing with Color” stands as a testament to the transformative power of color in design. Richard Mehl has crafted a workbook that transcends the traditional boundaries of color theory education, offering a unique blend of playful experimentation and serious study. As readers journey through the 50 experiments, they develop a deeper color awareness, enriching their design practice with every page turned.

Beyond its practical applications, “Playing with Color” invites us to view the world around us in new, more vibrant hues, reminding us of the magic that unfolds when we dare to play with color. Whether you’re looking to refine your design skills, enhance your color knowledge, or simply find inspiration in the world of color, this workbook is an invaluable companion on your creative journey.

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