Color Design Workbook: How to Master Color in Graphic Design with This New, Revised Edition
Color Design Workbook: A Book Review
If you are a graphic designer or a student of design, you probably know how important color is for your work. Color can make or break a design, convey emotions, create moods, attract attention, and communicate messages. But how do you choose the right colors for your projects? How do you use color effectively and creatively?
Color Design Workbook: New, Revised Edition: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design fre
One way to learn more about color is to read books on the subject. There are many books available that cover different aspects of color theory and practice. One of them is Color Design Workbook: New, Revised Edition: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design by Sean Adams. This book claims to provide you with the information needed to apply color to design work in a professional and confident way.
But is this book worth reading? Does it deliver what it promises? In this article, I will review this book and give you my honest opinion on its content, style, and value. I will also provide some information on how to get a copy of the book if you are interested.
What is the book about?
Color Design Workbook is a guide book that explains the meanings behind colors, working with color in presentations, and loads more. It covers various topics related to color theory and practice, such as:
The history of color theory and its evolution over time
The properties of color and how they affect perception and psychology
The cultural and emotional associations of different colors
The principles of color harmony and contrast and how to create effective color schemes
The use of color in different types of design projects, such as logos, websites, packaging, posters, etc.
The tips and tricks for working with color in digital and print media
The case studies that show how some famous designers and brands use color in their work
The exercises that help you test your knowledge and skills on color
The book is divided into three main sections: What is Color?, Color Theory, and Color Application. Each section contains several chapters that explore different aspects of color in depth. The book also includes a glossary of color terms, a bibliography of color resources, and an index for easy reference.
Who is the author?
The author of Color Design Workbook is Sean Adams, a graphic designer, educator, author, and partner at AdamsMorioka, a design firm based in Los Angeles. He has more than 25 years of experience in design and has worked with clients such as Adobe, Gap, Nickelodeon, Sundance, Target, The Walt Disney Company, and many others.
He is also a professor at ArtCenter College of Design and a frequent lecturer at various design schools and conferences. He has written several books on design, such as The Designer's Dictionary of Color, Logo Design Workbook, and Graphic Design Rules. He is also a past president of AIGA, the professional association for design, and a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the design profession.
Why is color important in graphic design?
Color is one of the most powerful elements of graphic design. It can influence how we perceive and respond to visual information. It can also communicate messages and meanings that words alone cannot. According to the author, color is important in graphic design because:
It attracts attention and creates interest
It establishes identity and recognition
It expresses mood and emotion
It enhances readability and comprehension
It organizes information and hierarchy
It reinforces brand values and personality
It differentiates products and services
It stimulates action and interaction
Therefore, as a graphic designer, you need to understand how color works and how to use it effectively in your projects. You need to know the theory behind color, the psychology of color, and the techniques of color application. You also need to be aware of the cultural and contextual factors that affect color perception and interpretation.
What are the main topics covered in the book?
Color Design Workbook covers a wide range of topics related to color theory and practice. Here are some of the main topics covered in each section of the book:
Color theory and history
This section explains the basics of color theory, such as the color wheel, the color models, the color systems, and the color properties. It also traces the history of color theory from ancient times to modern times, highlighting the contributions of various thinkers and artists, such as Aristotle, Newton, Goethe, Chevreul, Munsell, Itten, Albers, and others.
Color meanings and associations
This section explores the meanings and associations of different colors in different cultures and contexts. It explains how colors can evoke different emotions, moods, feelings, and sensations in people. It also shows how colors can symbolize different concepts, values, ideas, and qualities in different domains, such as religion, politics, nature, art, etc.
Color harmony and contrast
This section discusses the principles of color harmony and contrast and how to create effective color schemes for different purposes. It introduces various types of color harmonies, such as complementary, analogous, triadic, tetradic, split-complementary, etc. It also explains how to use contrast to create visual interest, balance, emphasis, rhythm, etc.
Color in presentations and branding
This section demonstrates how to use color in different types of design projects, such as logos, websites, packaging, posters, etc. It provides practical examples, case studies, exercises, tips and tricks for working with color in digital and print media. It also shows how to use color to create presentations that are clear, engaging, and persuasive.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the book?
Color Design Workbook has many strengths and some weaknesses as a guide book on color. Here are some of them:
Strengths: practical examples, case studies, exercises, tips and tricks
The book is full of practical examples that illustrate how color is used in real-world design projects. The examples are drawn from various fields and industries and showcase the work of some of the most famous and influential designers and brands in history. The examples are also accompanied by explanations and analyses that highlight the color choices and strategies used by the designers.
The book also includes many case studies that show how some designers solved specific color problems or challenges in their projects. The case studies are presented as stories that describe the background, the objectives, the process, and the results of each project. The case studies are also followed by questions that prompt you to think critically about the color decisions made by the designers.
The book also provides many exercises that help you test your knowledge and skills on color. The exercises are designed to challenge you to apply what you have learned from the book to your own projects or scenarios. The exercises are also fun and creative and encourage you to experiment with color in different ways.
The book also offers many tips and tricks for working with color in digital ```html Weaknesses: lack of depth, outdated information, subjective opinions
The book is not very deep or comprehensive in its coverage of color theory and practice. It only provides a brief overview of some of the most basic and common topics related to color. It does not go into much detail or explanation on the underlying principles, concepts, and mechanisms of color. It also does not address some of the more advanced and complex topics related to color, such as color psychology, color management, color accessibility, color trends, etc.
The book also contains some outdated information that may not reflect the current state of color theory and practice. Some of the examples and case studies are from several years ago and may not be relevant or applicable to today's design challenges and opportunities. Some of the information and advice on color in digital and print media may also be obsolete or inaccurate due to the rapid changes and developments in technology and standards.
The book also expresses some subjective opinions and preferences on color that may not be shared or agreed by everyone. Some of the statements and claims made by the author may not be supported by evidence or research. Some of the tips and tricks offered by the author may also be based on personal taste or experience and may not work for everyone or every situation.
What are the main takeaways from the book?
Color Design Workbook is a useful and informative book that can help you learn more about color theory and practice. It can help you understand how color works and how to use it effectively in your design projects. It can also inspire you to explore and experiment with color in creative and innovative ways.
Some of the main takeaways from the book are:
Color is a powerful element of graphic design that can influence perception, communication, and emotion.
Color theory is a set of principles and guidelines that can help you choose and combine colors in a harmonious and meaningful way.
Color meanings and associations are influenced by culture, context, and personal experience.
Color harmony and contrast are achieved by balancing similarity and difference among colors.
Color in presentations and branding can help you create clear, engaging, and persuasive visual messages.
Who is the target audience of the book?
The target audience of Color Design Workbook is anyone who is interested in learning more about color theory and practice. It is especially suitable for graphic designers or students of design who want to improve their color skills and knowledge. It is also helpful for anyone who works with color in any field or industry, such as marketing, advertising, art, photography, etc.
How to get a copy of the book?
If you want to get a copy of Color Design Workbook, you can buy it online from various websites, such as Amazon.com, Google Books, or Barnes & Noble. You can also find it in your local bookstore or library. The book costs around $18.73 for a paperback edition and $24.99 for an ebook edition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the new revised edition and the original edition of Color Design Workbook?
The new revised edition of Color Design Workbook was published in 2017 and contains updated information, examples, case studies, exercises, tips and tricks on color theory and practice. It also has a new cover design and layout. The original edition of Color Design Workbook was published in 2008 and has some outdated information, examples, case studies, exercises, tips and tricks on color theory and practice. It also has a different cover design and layout.
Who are some of the famous designers and brands featured in the book?
Some of the famous designers and brands featured in the book are:
Pentagram: a multidisciplinary design firm that has created iconic logos, identities, publications, websites, products, environments, and exhibitions for clients such as Mastercard, The New York Times, The Smithsonian Institution, The Rolling Stones, etc.
Saul Bass: a legendary graphic designer and filmmaker who has designed memorable logos, posters, film titles, and corporate identities for clients such as AT&T, United Airlines, Quaker Oats, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, etc.
Paul Rand: a pioneer of modern graphic design who has created influential logos, books, advertisements, and corporate identities for clients such as IBM, ABC, UPS, Westinghouse, Yale University, etc.
Apple: a global technology company that has revolutionized the fields of personal computing, mobile devices, digital music, and online services with its innovative products and design, such as the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes, etc.
Coca-Cola: a worldwide beverage company that has become one of the most recognizable and valuable brands in history with its iconic logo, bottle shape, color scheme, and marketing campaigns.
What are some of the exercises in the book?
Some of the exercises in the book are:
Create a color wheel using only primary colors and mixing them to create secondary and tertiary colors.
Choose a color and write down all the words and associations that come to your mind when you think of that color.
Pick a color scheme and apply it to a logo, a website, a poster, or a packaging design.
Analyze a case study and answer questions about the color choices and strategies used by the designer.
Create a presentation using color to communicate your message effectively and persuasively.
What are some of the tips and tricks for working with color in digital and print media?
Some of the tips and tricks for working with color in digital and print media are:
Use RGB (red, green, blue) color mode for digital media, such as websites, apps, videos, etc. and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color mode for print media, such as books, magazines, flyers, etc.
Use web-safe colors or hexadecimal codes for web design to ensure consistent and accurate color display across different browsers and devices.
Use Pantone colors or spot colors for print design to ensure consistent and accurate color reproduction across different printers and materials.
Use color calibration tools and devices to adjust your monitor and printer settings to match the colors you see on screen and on paper.
Use color contrast tools and guidelines to ensure your text and images are legible and accessible for people with different levels of vision and color perception.
How can I learn more about color theory and practice?
If you want to learn more about color theory and practice, you can:
Read more books on color, such as The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten, The Interaction of Color by Josef Albers, The Designer's Dictionary of Color by Sean Adams, etc.
Watch online videos and courses on color, such as The Fundamentals of Color Theory by Skillshare, The Power of Color in Design by Lynda.com, The Science and Art of Color by TED-Ed, etc.
Visit online resources and websites on color, such as Adobe Color, Color Matters, ColorHexa, etc.
Experiment with color in your own projects and scenarios using different tools and techniques.
Get feedback and advice from other designers and experts on color.