During this week, I visited the New School Design Library and also used the resources available at the NYU Bobst and Dibner libraries to check out reference books on Colors. The main books that I tried to find are as follows:
I found out about some of these references from the book stores at Color Factory and Cooper Hewitt Museum while the others were from the New School and NYU libraries. The books that I was able to find from this list of references gave a good foundation on different areas of colors right from Color Harmony and Color Vision to Color Perception and Color Psychology. Key insights from some of these books are as follows:
The color answer book from the world’s leading color expert – 100+ frequently asked by Leatrice Eiseman
This book is an excellent compilation of all common questions we often have about colors and the author has answered them in a clear, concise and easy to understand manner. It includes a guide to color basics and also talks about how colors affect us on a personal basis. The author also includes different aspects of color in fashion, interiors, workplace, home, health, family and garden. It gave a well rounded perspective on colors which was interesting and helped me think about the various areas that are impacted by colors and their influence.
Color – The secret influence by Kenneth Fehrman
This book is less visual in nature but is very informative. It talks about the language of colors, how colors affect health, how we see colors and also gives information about defective color vision. The vocabulary of color is covered in detail which was extremely valuable to understand. Reading the basics of color like color wheel and color harmony helped strengthen my foundation in colors. It also spoke about color myths and what each color signifies and how it is used. This was extremely helpful in my research to understand better about color psychology.
The secret lives of color by St Clair Kassia
This is a wonderful book recommended to me by my classmate who saw it in a bookstore. The book is broken down into broad color families some of which are not part of the color spectrum defined by Sir Isaac Newton. Within each family, the author has picked out individual shades with particularly fascinating, important, or disturbing histories. The author has provided a character sketch for 75 shades that intrigue the most each with a wonderful story of its own. Though I haven’t completed reading all 75 shades yet, I found it to be an excellent resource to understand how each color was born, in what context it is used and what it signifies as this would be important to form the database for my project.
The secret language of color by Joann Eckstut
This is by far my favorite book of all. It has beautiful visuals on each color and the narration style is brilliant! It starts with talking about the physics and chemistry of colors, how we see color and what it is composed of and then moves onto describing each color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet) in detail with interesting stories of each color. This knowledge is not only extremely fascinating but is also interestingly applicable in so many ways. I plan to use this resource exclusively in the working of my tool.
My learnings and insights:
- Each of these resources gave me more information about colors and helped my foundation to become stronger.
- Colors impact our lives in countless ways that we are not even aware of at times
- It’s important to know which colors should be used in what context to create right impact
- Complete background section of thesis paper
- Decide on medium for final showcase
- Start creating prototyping for testing
- Figure out questions and scenarios to ask people
- Prepare for advisor critique sessions