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Color Index: Over 1100 Color Combinations, CMYK and RGB Formulas, for Print and Web Media Turtleback – April 12, 2002
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More About the Author
Krause's latest books are Lessons in Typography, Visual Design and Color For Designers--all published by New Riders. These books are each part of New Rider's Creative Core series.
When Jim Krause isn't working on books, he can usually be found racing his motorcycle, riding a bicycle, hiking, reading, enjoying a really good cup of espresso, or looking at birds through a pair of binoculars.
Top Customer Reviews
However, the author provides recipes (CMYK and RGB values) "checked for accuracy", never stating on what media those values may be valid. He then excuses himself by saying that "the potential for error exists". The implication that a set of CMYK values is in any way "accurate" beyond the inks and papers used for this particular publication is so, eh, mid-1990s. A true, but technically more challenging statement of the color values should have been made with device independent Lab values. Then anyone with Adobe Photoshop, for example, could reproduce the samples on his or her own media. This is, in fact, what Pantone does.
And aspiring web designers beware! The author clearly has little but old and second-hand knowledge of the facts of color on the web. He describes the anachronistic "browser safe" colors as if most computer users still had old 8-bit (256 color) monitors, and as if there was ever color consistency across them. In those bad old days we fought dithering (the "speckles") in solid fills by choosing from amongst the 216 colors Macs and PC monitors had in common.
Those days, except for some dusty intranets here and there, are gone. deceased. expired. However, neither then nor now could we count on consistency on our viewers' monitors--unless we can strongarm our audience into calibrating and profiling them.
These particular rants aside (the writer sighs benignly), the color examples are truly wonderful, useful, and inspiring.
In short, fabulous for samples, but not for accuracy of data.
However, my respect for the work of those who'd recommended it overcame my initial doubts. As a designer in paper arts, I tend to get into my color ruts, and choose the same basic color combos. "Color Index" has helped me break out of my rut in a couple of different ways.
Sometimes, when I just don't feel inspired, I'll simply sit down with the book and page through it, tabbing color combinations I find interesting or appealing. Later, when I'm working in my studio, I'll take a look at the tabbed combos for ideas I can use.
Other times, I may know of one color I want to use for a design, but am stuck for accents to use. I'll take the paper I've chosen, page through the combinations and take into consideration those "moods" as well. I've discovered many combinations of color I'd never have considered otherwise, like tan with deep burgundy, accented by bright turquoise. Sounds like a bizarre mix, but it worked for that project, which was eventually published by a major scrapbooking magazine.
The book isn't flashy like other design books, but I've found it to be a dependable while inspiring workhorse in my studio.
There are Web and Browser safe colors, logo ideas and the lists goes on! I was smiling as I went through it last night - and that has NEVER happened! My creativity was so fueled, couldn't wait to get up this morning to get started on SOMETHING - ANYTHING! I am so impressed! I've bought and returned so many color guides but this 'little' book has made a HUGE impact and makes the 'Color Harmony' series books 'pale' in comparison! You will NOT be sorry!!
This book is always by my side. Its schemes are fantastic in cmyk, rbg and websafe. Its categories are much better than most of the color guides I've seen (and bought).
What's more - its size and sturdy plastic covers are great - and unlike almost every other design reference book I own - THE BINDING IS SEWN - so THE PAGES WON'T FALL OUT. There is nothing more infuriating than a good reference that falls apart before it even gets a good try. Everyone else who reviewed this book mentioned its many other fine points. But I have to add this one, particularly after the glue on one of my Robin William's books melted on a first read. This BOOK IS VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE. Worth every penny!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This has been a great reference to have on the shelf. I rarely use the color combinations exactly as they are printed but it is very useful as a starting off point. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Beth Faragan
Some of the ideas are timeless, yet some seem dated. The book is good reference material.Published 9 months ago by Suffolk