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Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers, 5th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-92079-4
272 pages
December 2016
Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers, 5th Edition (1118920791) cover image

Description

THE PERCEPTION, UNDERSTANDING, AND USES OF COLOR—EXPANDED AND REFRESHED

Understanding Color is an essential resource for those needing to become proficient in color for business applications. The peerless treatment of this critical subject is beautifully illustrated with real-world examples. Designers have turned to this guide for nearly a generation for its authoritative and accessible instruction. The knowledge contained in this book sets you apart from other designers by enabling you to:

  • Contribute more effectively to discussions on color harmony, complete with a vocabulary that enables in-depth understanding of hue, value, and saturation
  • Apply the most-up-to-date information on digital color to your projects
  • Address issues involved when colors must be translated from one medium to another
  • Troubleshoot and overcome today's most common challenges of working with color

Full-color images showcase real design examples and a companion website features a digital workbook for reinforcing color concepts. From theory and practical implementation to the business and marketing aspects, Understanding Color helps you gain a deep and discriminating awareness of color.

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Table of Contents

Preface XIII

Acknowledgments XV

Chapter 1 An Introduction to Color Study

The Experience of Color 1

Color Awareness 3

The Uses of Color 6

Color- Order Systems 9

Color Study 13

Chapter 2 A Little Light on the Subject

Light 16

Additive Color: Mixing Light 19

Lamps 20

Lamp Types 22

Special Purpose Lamps 25

False Promise: Full- Spectrum Lighting 26

Lighting Level 26

Vision 27

The Illuminant Mode of Vision 27

The Object Mode of Vision 28

Modifying Light: Colorants 28

Lamps and Color Rendition 31

The Color Rendering Index 32

Metamerism and Matching 32

Modifying Light: Surface 33

Transparent, Opaque, and Translucent 36

Iridescence 37

Luminosity 38

Indirect Light, Indirect Color 38

Filters 40

Chapter 3 The Human Element

The Sensation of Color 43

Threshold 44

Intervals 45

The Perception of Color 48

Physiology: Responding to Light 50

Healing and Color 53

Synaesthesia 53

Psychology: Responding to Light 54

Naming Colors 55

Color As Language: From Name to Meaning 56

Impressional Color 60

Color As Words Alone 61

Chapter 4 The Vocabulary of Color

Hue 64

The Artists’ Spectrum 66

Primary, Secondary, and Intermediate Colors 67

Saturated Color 68

Other Spectrums, Other Primaries 68

Chromatic Scales 70

Complementary Colors 70

Cool and Warm Colors 72

Analogous Colors 73

Tertiary Colors: Chromatic Neutrals 74

Black, White, and Gray 75

Value 75

Pure Hues and Value 76

Tints and Shades 76

Monochromatic Value Scales 77

Comparing Value in Different Hues 79

Line 80

Value and Image 80

Transposing Image 82

Saturation 83

Saturation: Diluting Hues with Gray 85

Saturation: Diluting Hues with the Complement 86

Theoretical Gray 87

Tone 89

Chapter 5 The Instability of Colors

The Instability of Colors 91

Color Composition 92

Ground and Carried Colors 93

Placement and Color Change 95

Equilibrium 95

Simultaneous Contrast 96

Afterimage and Contrast Reversal 98

Complementary Contrast 100

Ground Subtraction 102

Color and Area: Small, Medium, Large 106

Chapter 6 Illusion and Impression

Color Illusions 108

The Illusion of Depth 108

Spatial Effects of Colors 111

Transparence Illusion 115

Fluting 117

Vibration 118

Vanishing Boundaries 120

Luminosity 120

Bezold Effect 122

Optical Mixes 122

Chapter 7 Color Theory: A Brief History

Setting the Stage 126

The Beginnings of Color Theory 127

Color and Controversy 132

The Scientific Model: Color Gets Organized 134

Color by the Numbers 138

A New Perspective 141

Chapter 8 Color Harmony

In Search of Beauty 145

Intervals and Harmony 147

Hue and Harmony 149

Major and Minor Themes 150

Value and Harmony 151

Saturation and Harmony 153

On Beyond Harmony: Dissonant Colors 156

The X- tra Factor: Surface and Harmony 157

Some Harmonious Conclusions 159

Chapter 9 Tools of the Trade: Color in Product and Print

It’s the Real Thing: Color in Product and Print 162

Design Media 166

Artists’ Media 166

Subtractive Mixing: Pure Hues 169

Subtractive Mixing: Muted Hues 171

Tinting Strength 172

Color Printing: Process Colors 172

Color Printing: Spot Colors 176

Screen and Block Printing 177

Chapter 10 The Medium of Light

Images of Light 180

Lost in Translation 181

The Screen Display 183

Color Display Modes 186

Color Management 189

Color on the Web 195

Web Color Coding 197

Emerging Media: E- Ink 201

Chapter 11 The Business of Color

The Color Industries 204

Colorants 205

Color Sampling 205

Color Forecasting 206

Color Consulting 208

Color and Product Identity 209

Palettes 211

Traditional Colors, Document Colors 212

Palettes and the Past 214

Color Becomes Fashion 215

Color Cycles: A Modern History 216

Today and Tomorrow 218

Glossary 221

Bibliography 237

Index 243

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Author Information

LINDA HOLTZSCHUE is principal at Linda Holtzschue and Associates, an interior design firm based in New York City. She taught color theory and related courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design, where she served as Assistant Dean. Her work has appeared in New York Times Magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.

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