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  • Product Design

Color Design & Technology

Specializing Master in partner with Associazione Italiana Colore

The Master aims to provide advanced training to professionals, so as to enable them to understand and manage the many technological and design issues, often across many disciplinary areas, typical of all those professional and research sectors in which the use and management of color are essential.


The Specializing Master consists of two phases. The theory and technique based phase aims to train students in the technical aspects of measurement, control, digital reproduction and comparison relating to disciplines such as physics, optics, colorimetry, chemistry, psychology and perception. The second phase focuses on the methods learned, which will be contextualized and experimented in different color application and design areas such as interior design, urban spaces, industrial products, fashion and communication.

Particular attention will be paid to analyzing and summarizing utilization, control, ideation, organization and planning through the use of color. Consequently, color is not treated as a simple attribute of objects or surfaces, but as a means of expression and design underlying perception and interaction with reality.



Maurizio Rossi Director
Alessandro Rizzi Deputy Director


Ex-Alumni's' Interviews

Watch Students’ Interviews here or on our YouTube Channel

Former students' feedback

Read former students’ feedback – II Edition:

Ashka Khandwala – India
“I have studied Interior Design in my Bachelor program.The very first thought of studying colors in detail occurred when I learnt the importance of color in interior spaces and architecture.
My path to this Specialized Master in color was paved by the strong curiosity in the discipline of color development as an intrinsic part of being a designer. Discovering this Masters, I was highly impressed by the didactic and the approach of color design in various fields.
The experience throughout the year was extremely good. The journey of coming from India to Milan and in politecnico has given me exposure to interact with students from all across the world. The workshops and modules focused for us to work in groups where there were exchange of thoughts and ideas with each one from a different cultural background. During the year, we have been given theoretical lectures from very experienced and renowned professors from the color and design profession.
My internship in a high-end fashion brand focused on checking and creating combinations between the color charts and the items present in their archives, and acquiring pre-professional skills in analysis of color patterns.
I highly recommend this course to anyone who is curious about gaining the knowledge of  color and its applications. This Master taught me that Color is not just a simple attribute of objects but a means of expression, perception, communication and aesthetics in design. After completing the course, one has ample amount of knowledge to start a career in the field of color.”

Osvado Perrenoud – Brasile
“I’m a Lighting Designer with extensive experience in events and performing arts since 1979, specialized in creating lighting concepts where the colors are essencials.
The course was a deep experience in the world related to colors and how we perceive them.
It was like an arrow hiting a Color Design world target: Italy, Milano, Politecnico di Milano, Polidesign, Master in Color Design and Technology, right on the fly.
A sweeping experience, an in-depth course with competent and knowledgeable teachers of your specific areas, I thoroughly recommend.”

Rawan Bakri – Siria
“I’m Graphic designer & Illustrator. I’m originally from Syria but was based in Saudi Arabia where I graduated from the university of visual communication and digital design and worked afterwards at a graphic design studio where I did branding, product design, illustration and animation.
The reason why I choose this Master is a funny story: color used to scare me, mainly when trying to choose the right color for a brand or when trying to match the digital files with the printable. I used to face a lot of issues and these issues wasted energy, money and creativity. I honestly didn’t know such study existed “academically speaking”, my reaction when I found it was simply, a loud cheerful “BINGO”. Also one of the most interesting things about this program is the fact that it’s the first of it’s kind in the world.
Going through the master I thought we were going to be involved in the psychology of color, color harmony and the artistic side of design & color, which we were. But also we did a great deal on the scientific side of color, light and color perception, which in my opinion was the most interesting and important part. For it is always good to know the basics of stuff in order to move forward.
And in fact, this Master gave me the academic knowledge that will allow me to move forward in the field of color design, with the chance to apply it in practical work with the internship. It also gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different sectors and learn a lot from each and every one of them.”
Former students’ feedback – I Edition:
Alba Pedrini
“I was looking at the Specializing Master mainly as an occasion to follow a passion and explore something new, but at the same time I was intrigued by the idea of giving my career a shift and possibly develop a new career in the design field. During the year we’ve been given lectures from the most important and well-respected academics in the field of color studies, we got the chance to take part to the annual Italian Color Group meeting and we’ve also met a lot of professionals who are actually working as color designers. I’m convinced the Specializing Master has given each of us the main instruments one needs to start a career in the color field and, most important, it has showed us the limitless application that color might have in different industries. I’ve recently moved to London to work for a company that develops lighting set for events so I’m sure I’ll have the chance to apply at least some of the contents I’ve learnt during the Specializing Master”.

Simona Troiano
“The experience of the Specializing Master was extremely good: studying in a multicultural environment enriches you a lot, it gives you the opportunity to meet and discuss with people from different parts of the world and to learn new things. Lectures, theoretical and practical, have been very useful, interesting and allowed us to enter in the magical world of color and to discover issues that are often overlooked or not considered, but in reality are characteristic in our design work: the theme of color is very unique, interesting and not common, then specializing in this sector, in some way, makes you “different” from other designers. The internship experience, finally, during which I’ve designed and developed a color proposal for the motorcycle industry, has considerably increased my knowledge and my passion: it was an experience that has enriched me both professionally and personally”.

 Costanza Fausone
“My expectations about the Specializing Master have been fully met: the didactic, in particular, both the theoretical part concerning the color perception and the factors affecting it, and the practical one, with the laboratories, was well organized and extremely comprehensive. The Specializing Master has given me a lot, both on a human and professional level: in the classroom there were students from around the world so, in particular during the workshops, there has been a very stimulating exchange of thoughts and ideas. In the workplace, the Specializing Master has provided me with all the tools necessary for a proper color design: it gave me also the opportunity to get in touch with professionals passionate like me to the theme of color and to start new collaborations. The internship, finally, in my case at a manufacturer of paints and varnishes, was interesting as it gave me the opportunity to know from the inside a large company”.

Tanja Polegubic
“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be among the first graduates of the Specializing Master in Color Design & Technology, along with an alumni from 4 continents. It is a unique offering not only in Europe, but around the world! Prior to moving to Milan, I had been working in digital communications in Australia for over a decade. I was looking for a masters study program in Europe with a design focus, to build on and expand my communications expertise. The masters color specialization and structure appealed to me as it featured communications, as well as the influence of history, fashion, architecture, product design and the technical aspects of understanding color – invaluable foundations which serve all areas of life – professionally and personally. The Specializing Master exceeded my expectations, as we were given access to experts from industry and academia as well as an internship program to hone our knowledge in a color field. I would recommend the course to anyone who uses color, or would look to better utilize knowledge of color, as the advantages apply across many industries and all aspects of daily life – on an individual and global level”.


Didactic Plan

Ten didactic units and the internship compose the didactic plan. The first four teaching modules, run by Associazione Italiana Colore, are dedicated to developing fundamental skills in terms of the theories, methods and tools of color design. The next five are dedicated to developing advanced design and color skills in five contexts: interiors, exteriors, industrial products, visual communication and fashion. The module Empowerment aims to develop soft skills useful for integration in the labor market in view of the final apprenticeship, which will involve internships at companies and professional firms in the industry.

Didactic Modules

Module: Fundamentals – theories, methods and tools

Didactic unit 1: History and Perception of Color. Colors have emotional, cultural and symbolic valences: they arouse emotions, they provoke reactions, they can make a message stronger or weaker. These interesting properties have been known since antiquity. Assuming that the color “does not exist” in the physical world, but is the result of our visual system to a spatial configuration of lighting stimuli, we can understand how its complexity has always fascinated scholars and artists from antiquity. This module will present the culture of color, starting from its history, and then investigating the aspects of perception that are at the basis of its complexity. The perceptual mechanisms that affect the color and vision in general will be examined and understood in order to enable the student to recognize, anticipate and design them.

Didactic unit 2: Colorimetry and Color Systems. This module is dedicated to the color physics, optic and measurement fundamentals. Although the color is a subjective characteristic, colorimetry allows to measure, standardize, communicate and represent the color of a surface or a light source in an accurate way. We will present the theoretical basis of perception and colorimetry, the photometric and radiometric measures, different color spaces and methods to calculate color differences. As an alternative to classic colorimetry, the color can be selected, represented and communicated through atlases and color systems . To the participant will be presented the main systems in use among scientists, artists and industry professionals: Munsell, Pantone, NCS, RAL, etc. In this module the essential technical skills that are the basis of the color designer will be presented, whatever the application areas on which it will choose to specialize in the future.

Didactic unit 3: Digital color. With the diffusion of new technologies, more and more aspects of communication and color reproduction are becoming digital.
In this module we will provide the theoretical and practical fundamentals to manage, view and reproduce the digital color applied to different media. The module aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the processing chain and digital color reproduction (from scanner to camera to printer), with particular attention to the limitations and problems associated with the use of different devices and color profiles.

Didactic unit 4: Color Applications. Designing with color can sometimes look like a matter of personal preference. However, the success of a project that requires the conscious choice of colors is based on the experience, the preparation and the diligence of the designer. This module will explore through examples and case studies the profession of color designer in various professional contexts: from the marketing to visual communication, from restoration of cultural heritage to photography and film, architecture and advertising, product and lighting design and more. The aim of this module is to show how the knowledge acquired in the previous modules can be applied in most professional fields and applications.

Module: Project work

Didactic unit 5: Color in communication design. The creation and development of brand begins with visual identity which, with its set of denotative and connotative symbols, ensures its recognition on the market.Within this strategy, whose mechanism entails the interaction of several factors, color is an essential expressive tool of characterization.

Based on the notion of color as a ‘sensory whole’ which requires cognitive and perceptual knowledge, short practice sessions of inquiry are provided about the above topics, as well as creative activities (based on a given brief) aimed at the development of a color design methodology. To that aim, participants will be supplied with operative guidelines for the development, planning and management of such methodology.

Didactic unit 6: Color in fashion design. The course program, in form of a project work, will be dedicated to the definition and the use of color in the world of textiles and fabrics. From clothing to accessories, from upholstered furniture to soft decoration for interiors, the program will teach how to create a textile trend book, explaining the influence of material and tactile values on the perception of color and the importance of balancing colors with weaves and patterns.
Trend books, in fact, are tactile and cognitive tools meant to represent the styles, the colors and trends of the newest collections, essential tools and source of inspiration for the development of future collections of fashion brands.
During the project the students will also analyze the main differences between organic and chemical dyes according to the different dyeing techniques (such as the “tie and dye” technique or some of the most common digital printing processes). They will therefore be able to define a project of their own learning some basic elements of the dyeing process for the definition of final color (considering, for instance, the importance of temperature or humidity in traditional dyeing techniques) and they will also be asked to chose colors and techniques balancing the issues of sustainability and renewable resources with the best possible “color performances” in terms of brilliance, stability and production costs.

Didactic unit 7: Color in interior design. The course program, in form of a project work, will be dedicated to analyzing the possibilities of application of a new color design in the creation of innovative retail spaces that may ensure an harmonious relationship with brand values and corporate identity.
You will experience different approaches to retail design, proposing a new type of commercial space (permanent or temporary) where color shall be an integral part of the experience design, by assonance, identity, or by contrast.
Similarly, you will develop the themes of material and color treatment of outer surfaces by getting to know their relationship with the interior design and the issues of historic preservation.

Didactic unit 8: Color in the design of industrial products. The aim of this workshop module is to provide a methodology to design CMF (Color Material and Finishing) through the simulation of a real project. Iconic products will be identified on the market; students will design the CMF variations according to the author’s poetic, the technical and economic feasibility. The main focus of this project work is to investigate the relations between shape, material and color: particular attention will be placed on the finishing (glossy and matte, metallic and pearlescent, etc.). The final output will be realized with the cooperation of companies that operate in the field, which could provide products such as paints, samples of materials, which will help the participants acquire technical skills.

Didactic unit 9: Color in the urban space. The lecture is going to address the close relationship between the color in urban spaces and the meanings of the human relationships that take place within it.
It’s going to highlight the role of the chromatic and perception project to improve urban identity, a sense of citizenship and the relationship among different roles. Four cores of this lecture are going to analyze aspects related to the perceptual phenomena into the urban spaces, providing the theoretical basis and tools for a procedural praxis with the support of images, cognitive maps and case histories.
The lecture will focus on the aesthetic upgrading of buildings in modern construction, to solve their visual impact. It will underline preliminary analysis to study the volumes and the areas of visual noise of the building, in order to design the appropriate collocations of colored backgrounds, modifying the visual and perceptive reading of its surfaces.
I core: It introduces the chromatic and perceptive project to identify the interplay between skills, established roles and the new areas of action.
II core: It addresses the issue of the evolution of vision and cognitive perception and the characteristics of the natural environment where they have developed.
It analyzes the importance of colors as an aid to understand the meanings of natural and urban scene.
III core: It highlights some aspects of neuroscience that help understand the mechanisms of reading the colored surfaces of a building.
It discusses some color projects hypothesis, suggesting the correct tools and procedures.
IV core: It provides information on the methods and practices of color and perception design through case histories.

Didactic unit 10: Empowerment

Title Released

After completing the course and on passing the final exam, the 1st level Specializing Master “Color Design & Technology” certification will be issued.
The Specializing Master grants 60 CFU, equivalent to 60 ECTS.

Employment Opportunities

The Specializing Master aims to produce an innovative professional figure, widely in demand by the market, with advanced technical and design skills concerning color use and control and color design in research and in several sectors such as interior design, urban planning, industrial product design, fashion design and communication. At the end of the course, students will be able to professionally manage multidisciplinary aspects relating to the study and management of color and will be able to work in a variety of firms and companies in the fields of interior design, urban planning, industrial products, fashion, communication, paints and dyes.



The Specializing Master is open to candidates who have a university degree under the old or the new educational system or a Master of Science under the new educational system in Science, Engineering, Architecture, Industrial Design (or equivalent qualifications under the law), or in other disciplines where the Master course is complementary to the candidate’s previous experiences.

For foreign applicants, the Specializing Master is open to students holding equivalent qualifications.

The selection will be made by the Commission.


To take part to the selection process, the application form must be completed online within the following deadlines:

for Italian / foreign citizens with a qualification obtained in Italy within 29 March 2020

for Extra U.E. citizens within 28 February 2020


The admission fee to the Specializing Master is € 10.000 VAT-FREE ART. 10 DPR 633/72, divided into registration fee at the Politecnico di Milano (€ 500,00) and fee for the Specializing Master (€ 9.500).

The entry fee to the Politecnico di Milano will not be returned under any circumstances.


Current edition


Maurizio Rossi Director
Alessandro Rizzi Deputy Director