The Semantic Colour Space

A logical and intuitive design method

The CITY of 8 design semantics courses and workshops are underpinned by comparative and statistical research in the domain of design semantics. Ferre Alpaerts and Inez Michiels developed a design method they synthesized in the Semantic Colour Space (see publications). This 3-dimensional model facilitates the logical determination of/and mutual connection between meaning, emotional and psychological effect of colours, colour combinations, colour palettes, shapes, compositions, textures, and symbols via their distinctive parameters.
Semantic Colour Space


  • Michiels, I. (2021) Design Semantics Database: Towards an analytical and logical approach for meaningful design. Proceedings of the International Colour Association (AIC) Conference 2021, p.897-902. read paper

  • Alpaerts, F., Michiels, I. (2019) The semantic color space. Proceedings of the International Colour Association (AIC) Conference 2019, p.178-183. read paper

  • Michiels, I. (2018) Indications for a Valid Color Test to Measure Personality, Visual Needs and Preferences for Tailored Design Applications. Proceedings of the International Colour Association (AIC) Conference 2018, p.773-778. read paper

  • Michiels, I. (2018) Design semantic pathways. Colours connecting meaning, emotion and psychology to visual language. Belgium Interdisciplinary Colour Association (ICA-Belgium) Colour Conference 2018, p.10-26. read paper

  • Michiels, I. (2006) Symbolen Constructies. 597 universele symbolen. Leuven, Belgium. Publisher ACCO. read cover