A thorough understanding of color is vitally important for any graphic designer. While good instincts when it comes to color can are important, and can serve you well on their own, a solid understanding of color harmony, color psychology, and color trends can take your designs from good to great, and from appealing to effective. Here are five books to help you know your stuff.
by Tom Fraser and Adam Banks
The Designer’s Color Manual gives a thorough introduction to color theory, and particularly how it applies to design. Color theory is a huge subject, and this is a great place to start learning about it. A recommended read for any designer.
by Johannes Itten
This is a classic book by one of the most important color theorists of the 20th century. A condensed version of his larger work, The Art of Color, this is a concise, and very readable, book covering all the most important aspects of color. Itten covers the seven types of contrast, how color affects or perception, color harmony, and much more. A must-read for any graphic designer or artist.
by Leatrice Eisman
This book by the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute is a vividly laid out look at the practical use of color psychology. Along with an explanation of why the use of color is so important and powerful, the book explores the emotions and concepts that we associate with different colors, and has a useful index of sample color combinations that evoke certain feelings.
by Faber Birren
An in-depth look at how color affects us by a famous colorist. The full title of this book is actually Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A factual Study Of The Influence Of Color On Human Life. As you may have guessed from the snappy title, this book is pretty dry reading. That being said, it is extremely interesting and full of useful information for the practicing designer.
by Johannes Itten
OK… calling this a book is using the definition a little loosely, but this is so useful that we needed to include it here. The color star is a flat representation of Ittens color sphere (essentially a color wheel with tints and shades added), with a series of stencils that can be placed over top to reveal various color chords. This can be a great source of inspiration when looking for new color combinations.
Title: The Elements of Color: A Treatise on the Color System of Johannes Itten
Author: Johannes Itten
The Publisher’s Writeup
A useful simplification and condensation of Johannes ltten's major work, The Art ...
Now that the age of information has given way to the age of distraction, more and more professionals are finding themselves searching for ways to stay productive. As graphic designers, ...
Nothing is as daunting as the empty canvas (or Illustrator pasteboard, or Photoshop document). We all have those times when we have trouble getting started on a particular project. It ...
I think it’s fair to say that successful graphic design is all about communication. Looking great is important, but clearly and effectively communicating is paramount. The funny thing is, though, ...
Full, glorious color can draw attention, but sometimes a well designed one-color piece can be even more powerful. Maybe you're sticking to black or one spot color to keep printing ...
To be continually creating new and interesting concepts in design, we must look for inspiration everywhere. This is the first of a series of posts featuring inspiration from a variety ...
In a previous post we had inspiration graphic design and visual arts in the color blue, and today we've got some inspiration in red. It's amazing the power that an ...
Landing a logo design project can be great because it usually means you’re engaging the client right when they’re starting their business, and it will usually lead to business cards, ...
While there are options out there for design software, Adobe is, by far, the industry standard, particularly Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Aspiring designers are faced with a daunting list of ...
We're please to announce the release of our free ebook, How To Be A Freelance Graphic Designer: Tips, Ideas, and Advice For Building Your Design Business. This is a FREE ...
Book Review: Elements Of Color
Roundup: 5 Great Articles To Keep You Focused
10 Great Sources Of Graphic Design Inspiration
4 Book Recommendations For Improved Visual Communication
Inspiration: Single-Color Designs
Roundup: 10 Tutorials About Logo Design
4 Ways To Learn Adobe Design Software
Free eBook: How To Be A Freelance Graphic