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FAST CLASS: Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, and Application

Lesson 8 of 10

Expression of Color & Opposites - Part 1

Richard Mehl

FAST CLASS: Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, and Application

Richard Mehl

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Lesson Info

8. Expression of Color & Opposites - Part 1


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:29
5 Color Illusion in Practice Duration:03:14
6 Illusion of Transparency Duration:04:34
7 Color in Design: Tangrams Duration:07:34
9 Learning from the Masters Duration:05:02
10 Everyday Found Color Duration:04:12

Lesson Info

Expression of Color & Opposites - Part 1

so color expression. We're building up. I don't know if you've noticed, we're moving from theory into practice. That's the point of Today's work. So we started with 10 g and leave collages where you dealt with geometric shapes and organic shapes. And now we gave you an assignment and a little while after I go through a few slides here, we'll ask you to go around and talk a little bit about your concepts for this idea of expressing two different things with colour and shape. And you'll be able to use the colored pieces of paper that we have here, the color grade, even the tan graham shapes and even the leaves if you want to if you find that they're useful for expressing your two opposites. So I like to use this as an example of color expression. It's the LGBT flag Um which has six colors. And it is indeed a powerful symbol. And it's very simple and very easy to remember. And initially when that flag was designed, it had eight colors and they were tied to this very specific meaning. So p...

ink, sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature. Of course art was blue, green, harmony, blue and spirit, purple or violet. And it's been simplified Since. And now we have the flag that is six colors. Three primaries, the three secondaries arranged in this spectrum, just like the rainbow. And in that way it's this great symbol of diversity and pride of identity. And I actually love this. It's so simple every year in the summer. You know, we see these flags all around uh new york city and here obviously also and when they're flying and floor allowing the colors work together in this really kind of beautiful way. And we go from a very geometric kind of construction, just stripes into something that's very organic. So the flag itself is this great expression of geometric and organic form. Yeah, the Seasons project. These are some projects that my students have done uh Using colour to express personal relationships to the four seasons. And kind of going back to the very first exercises you did earlier in the workshop using colored grids to express ideas here. Really thinking about color is an expressive element. So it's very easy. And actually this assignment goes back to Johannes it and again and he had his students work with colored grids to express their relationships to the seasons. And most of us can think about colours relating to seasons. Maybe it has to do with holidays, maybe it has to do with feelings. I've had students work on this project and in some cases the results are completely monochromatic because they might be about moods

Class Description


Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, and Application with Richard Mehl

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  • Effectively select and apply color to enhance your design projects
  • Utilize color theory language to justify your design decisions
  • Expand beyond preconceptions and your comfort zone in working with color


Our response to color comes from the place in our brain where trust, loyalty, behavior, and decision occur – every successful project relies on a designer making smart choices about color.

In Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application, Richard Mehl will give you a foundational understanding of color theory principles and demonstrate how to apply them. Richard has studied alongside design legends Paul Rand, Bradbury Thompson and Herbert Matter; in this class he’ll share insights gleaned from 12 years of teaching and writing about color in design.

Richard takes an accessible approach to the serious study of color theory for designers. You’ll be exposed to a relevant series of ideas and skills by exploring a range of analog and digital projects.

  • Color terminology and meaning
  • How to view color in context
  • Contrast grids and color illusion
  • Tips for creating a harmonious color palette

In Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, & Application you’ll develop a new awareness and sensitivity to color that will bolster your confidence in your personal and professional design work.


This class is for designers and color aficionados of all levels working across various media, ranging from floral design to user experience design. It is also an appropriate refresher in color theory for experienced designers.