- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Adams Media; 1 edition (March 15 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0891348573
- ISBN-13: 978-0891348573
- Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.9 x 24.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 730 g
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #366,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations Hardcover – Mar 15 1999
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From Library Journal
This wonderful book is about color and design, but it is not a book of theory that begins with color wheels, primary colors, secondary colors, and color harmony. Instead, it offers design examples from the past century: Victorian, Art Deco, Sixties, Raves, etc., with each illustration including Cmyk color formulas. Cmyk is the color-processing system used by printers and also Photoshop, i.e., you can add in the Cmyk for any color in the book and duplicate it in Photoshop or other paint programs. Along with design examples, there are also chapters on current color styles, limited colors, and "bad color," which actually is pretty cool. Designers will love this book for the examples; others can simply select great colors that go together.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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There are so many different color combinations to look at, each with a different variation as well. They're all in CMYK too, which makes it easier since I'm not familiar with the Pantone system a lot of books on color use.
The only drawback to this book is that it doesn't teach you how to create your own successful color schemes, so you'll need another book on color for that. This book tells you to look at the things around you for inspiration although it never tells you how to convert those colors to CMYK mode.
If you have a book or two on the science and practices of good color design, then you'll definately need this for a quick reference to some applied real world design.
The author has compiled color combinations that she has found in the world around us, and she has even gone so far as to give (approximate) CMYK values for the schemes. So far so good. The problem? She seems to find the same color combinations over and over again. Considering that there are sections here on Victorians, Art Deco, the Sixties, Earth tones, and Raves, one would certainly expect to find some drastically different color combinations. But flip back and forth between the "Rave" section and the "Victorian" section, and you will be surprised by how similar the schemes are. At least, I am.
There are some minor assets to the book, but I would not recommend it. For those looking for swatches, I would recommend "Color Harmony 2" (ISBN 1564960668). Not only is it worlds better, it's also cheaper and smaller. And did I mention better?
Each page offers a depiction of a work of art, which may be painting, illustration, texture, fabric. The main piece always has a short description (artist, origin, media) and a personal note by the author why the piece is so eyestriking.
All pieces are catalogued according to time and style, so you'll find art deco, popart, contemporary, ... styles but also 'bad' use of color.
However, this is NOT a book about color theory. The approach is subjective and you may find that your views differ with the author because the appreciation of coloruse is personal (which the author also underlines).
Never the less this is also an outstanding objective guide to historical color use during the centuries starting from the late 19th century till now.
For computer artists it also offers CMYK values, as well for the main piece, and variations on it.
If there would be one negative point, it's only that there is not a cd added with all the palettes, so you would not have to type in the values. And, for people operating mainly in RGB color space, as the book cover states: no RGB values. (you'll find these in the second volume, but for some strange reason they were not added in this first volume).
Despite this small point of criticism: this guide is a work of art unique in it's category. There is nothing that even comes close to the work of endurance the author has done, to offer the reader a practical and inspirational guide to color combining.
A guide you'll browse and browse again.
Not all of the colors appearing in the piece shown were always represented. And I didn't think that the layouts redone with the chosen colors were creative or accurate in the reflection of the proportions of the pieces' color. In fact in more than one instance, I felt the most important accent color was left out of the breakdown all together. That made me mistrust the accuracy of the paletes presented that were based on other pieces for mthe same time period, but without showing the piece itself.
All in all, the book is interesting from a historical sense, and I will definitely derive some value from it, but i felt it was lacking in it's attention to detail. Unfortunately, because color is all about attention to detail, it's lack of it does undermine the book's intrinsic value.
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