A digital framework for color design and education


  • Pietro Paglierani Independent Consultant
  • Francesca Valan Francesca Valan Studio




Color design, Color processing, Design tools, Visual deficiency, Digital tools


Color design is assuming a role of greater and greater importance in industry and architecture. However, only a few tools can effectively support designers and architects in their color-related activities, besides color atlases or color measurement devices. On the other hand, many significant results are now at hand in the field of computational color. In particular, various software libraries are available in numerical simulation environments or popular programming languages such as Python. Unfortunately, architects and color designers traditionally do not have a background in signal processing and/or programming techniques. Consequently, the use of such tools is limited to a relatively small community of color scientists, while the much broader spectrum of color-related activities in the industrial world or in architecture cannot benefit of such a collection of color science algorithms and transformations. To fill this gap, this paper presents a set of digital functions, named “ColorTools”, collected in a single framework written in Python. ColorTools makes use of (and eventually extends) the most popular color-theory libraries now available, and presents to the user a high level and friendly interface, specifically designed to match the needs of color designers. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework, the paper describes the use of ColorTools in some real color projects. Finally, ColorTools can also be used in color education, since it allows exploring many basic color theory concepts.

Author Biographies

Pietro Paglierani, Independent Consultant

Pietro Paglierani received the Master degree and the Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Padua. He is currently a project leader in the R&D Department, Italtel S.p.A. His main interests are in digital signal processing, image and video processing, Network Function Virtualization, and Edge Computing. He has actively contributed to the definition of ITU and ETSI standards related to network performance assessment and published more than fifty papers on this topic.

He has participated in many national and European (FP7 and Horizon 2020) funded research projects in the Information and Communications Technology sector. He was previously with Tektronix Padova, Necsy S.p.A. and Consorzio Padova Ricerche, where he was involved in the design of signal processing applications. Since 2012, he is a certified Scrum Master.

Francesca Valan, Francesca Valan Studio

Francesca Valan is an industrial designer, specialized in the design of colors, materials, and finishes (CMF Design). She graduated in Industrial Design at the IED in Milan in 1989 and received her Master in Surface Quality in 1990. She lives and works in Milan, where she founded her studio in 1998. As an Industrial Designer, her activity consists in defining Product Identity. Her CMF projects range from elevators to office furniture, from home appliances to sport items, pens, glasses etc. She has collaborated with De Longhi Group, Lechler, Samsung, Telecom Italia, LG, Hitachi, Olivetti, Atomic, Technogym, Fila, Campari, and many others. She is a teacher in university and master courses in color design technology. She developed a method of prediction of trends based on historical and statistical analysis of color by market sector, which exploits the periodicity of color preferences and the duration of cycles for product type.


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How to Cite

Paglierani, P. and Valan, F. (2018) “A digital framework for color design and education”, Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 10, pp. 93–101. doi: 10.23738/ccsj.i102018.11.