Projekt Grafik Design

Erwin Bauer
Design, Design und narrative Medien
2024S, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S20390


Hearing & smelling colours, tasting sounds

It is not yet clear whether babies in the womb initially only see their world in black and white. However, as the pregnancy progresses, they turn towards light sources. This is also when the first connections between emotion and colour are made, which will accompany us throughout our lives. From now on, we associate muted variants of orange, red, violet and warm brown with a feeling of security.

Even more fascinating is the "learning" of initially abstract colours - just as we learn our language. We only begin to associate objects and experiences with colours through early tactile experiences. Our most powerful sense, the sense of sight, helps us to build up a vocabulary of colours. Through the combination of sensory perceptions, holistic experiences are permanently stored in our memory and linked with each other. This turns colours into symbols that we then use completely intuitively in communication.

A colour can smell like a penetrating piss yellow or taste like a sweet raspberry red. If a dish is presented to us on a red plate, we eat less of it because we categorise it as more energetic. The brightness of colours also changes our perception. For example, coffee tastes stronger when served in black packaging. In our estimation, a dark-coloured case weighs twice as much as a light-coloured one, even though the weight is exactly the same. Light and dark also have an acoustic equivalent - translated into sound, they appear loud, heavy or quiet respectively. Last but not least, in music we talk about tone colour, composition and rhythm - all principles that can also be applied to colours and visual design.

Synaesthesia is our inspiration for a colour design experiment. Only around 4% of people, such as Wassily Kandinsky or Lady Gaga, had or have this rare talent. They perceive several senses at the same time. Their days of the week can have colours, letters can be linked to a sound or they can see a sound as a colour or shape. A sound can therefore appear square, a voice turquoise or an "A" red. The same applies to taste, smell, weight, texture or time. In the summer semester, we will investigate the effect, meaning and multi-sensuality of colours, their analogies for the senses and test synchronous design principles in a free visualisation project.

Examination Modalities

The following will be assessed:
- Research on colour / design methods / example projects
- Experimental exploration of synaesthetics as a design principle
- Aesthetic and emotional result of the design project
- Presentation


Free choice of media for project work

Key Words

Synästhetik, Farbpsychologie, Visuelle Gestaltung, Experimentelle Gestaltung


08 March 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
15 March 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
22 March 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
12 April 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
19 April 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
26 April 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
03 May 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
17 May 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
24 May 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
31 May 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
07 June 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2
14 June 2024, 10:30–12:00 Seminar Room 2

Course Enrolment

From 05 February 2024, 00:00 to 17 March 2024, 16:13
Via online registration

Design: Specialisation in Graphic Design (2. Section): Artistic Basics: Project "Graphic Design" 576/202.10

Industrial Design (1. Section): Transfer Techniques: Graphics for Industrial Design - Basics 580/102.70

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible