Jody Campbell
Adjunct Instructor 2D, 3D and 4D Communication Design

Color Theme Lab

Project Published 7/28/14 Last updated on 5/16/18

The lab consists of a provided PDF handout to which a PSD template is attached. The students are instructed to identify three field of study examples that they find inspirational to their work.

The students are shown how to find large “free to use and modify” examples via Google’s search engine. The student places the example in the space provided in the PSD template. The next step for the student is to up the image to kuler.adobe.com and to use its color generator to create a color theme. Kuler is an awesome resource that I use outside of teaching in my professional role as an illustrator and graphic designer but when uploading an image its auto feature often jumps to irrelevant areas of the picture which works out from an instructional point view because it forces the student to think about what color is important and what is not then manually adjust the theme. After creating the color theme the student downloads the .ase and loads it into PS’s swatches. Then using the magic wand tool, swatches and the fill command the student fills the provide boxes in the PSD template with the color theme they just created on-line. The last step has the student using the text tool to write a short analysis on how their inspirational example is using color as a tool to reinforce the message. In total the students complete three themes so that the repetition builds memory muscle and they become conformable using the functions needed to accomplish the lab.

Attached to the zipped file is the PDF handout with the attached PSD, a short video of the steps involved and some student examples of the lab. Because this lab is designed to relevant to any major I get to see a variety of solutions. Film students often use screen still of their favorite movie, fashion students use work from their favorite designer, game designers often use their favorite characters, animation students often use stills, graphic design student examples run the gamut, etc., etc. etc.

As always feedback is appreciated.

  • Acrobat

    The complete PDF solution for working anywhere. (includes desktop, web, and mobile access)

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Color

Age Levels
1-2 Hours

For this lab you will need a workstation with internet access, Adobe ID, Acrobat and Photoshop.

CC License
5 / 5 • 2 Ratings

Resources (2)

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Comments (4)

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Paula Droddy

Posted on 1/14/16 4:08:25 PM Permalink

Can you explain the adobe id listed in the materials? Must it be activated with a follow up email. Our school district gave the students gmail accounts but they can't receive emails from anyone outside our domain. Useful huh?

Paula Droddy

Posted on 1/14/16 4:05:53 PM Permalink

This is a good one. I will use this in my principles of design unit that I do at the beginning of the year in my graphics classes.

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 9/14/14 5:48:42 PM Permalink

Hi Jody,
Great resource
thank you

Jody Campbell

Posted on 9/16/14 7:07:58 PM Permalink

Thank you Tarek