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Interaction of Color: Revised Edition Paperback – September 10, 1975
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1. The shipping and general processing of my purchase by Amazon was very good, as always.
2. The publication is in two hardcover volumes (one with an azure blue, and the other with an olive green cover), with a brown cloth bound slipcase and a cardboard box for extra protection. One volume focuses on the theory and an explanation of the plates (and how to use them), and the other volume is the colour plates themselves.
3. The physical presentation of the whole package just oozes quality. The cloth used on the covers, the binding, the paper stock are all first class. The proportions of each volume are also well thought out, each being tall and slim, although the volume with colour plates is heavier due to the thicker paper used.
4. The graphic design is so clean and simple - the typeface and graphic layout of each page make the books a treat to look at and read. The new colour plates are produced using stochastic printing.
5. The new edition has been produced with the complete cooperation of the Josef and Anni Albers foundation, who also provided a subsidy to allow the work to proceed. The editor in charge of this new edition, Michelle Komie, worked closely with the Foundation over a number of years.
6. Further reading on the new edition can be found on line as follows :
7. I've never seen the original edition, so I can't compare the original with this new edition. The original was published in 1963, as a limited print run, and cost $200 back then. The colour plates were silk screened. These copies are now very rare, and will set you back at least $4000. The new edition would have cost $1000+ if silk screen had been used again. Logically, this means less people would have bought it. As Michlelle Komie stated to me "The goal of this publication was to make the full set of plates available for the first time since 1963 as beautifully and reasonably as possible." It seems crazy to me that Michelle and the Foundation would allow the book to go to press if it could not do justice to the original.
Let's face it, this is one of THE essential 20th Century colour treatises, and the fact that a publication of this quality and educational value is now available at a price that could barely get you a meal for two at a decent restaurant, is really a cause for celebration.
Do yourselves a favour - buy the book - if you have an interest in colour theory, or even if you just admire beautiful design and things well made, you won't regret it.
This book is an historical artifact worth owning, but not using.
"The Painter's Handbook" and [...]
I cannot overstate how utterly shameful it is that a book about color has the wrong colors. The latter half of the book is pictures the author references throughout the text and their descriptions. Due to the poor nature of the printing, the pictures do nothing to illustrate the principles of color the author is attempting to explain. This also makes it a really bad coffee-table book because the optical illusions the author attempts to reproduce are literally invisible. It would only impress someone who already knew what it is, so unless you exclusively date printmakers, artists, or art historians, I'd keep it on the shelf.
On a more existential note: I would like to point out that this book was designed to educate artists and printmakers, but due to it's poor quality, clearly demonstrates how unnecessary the professional world now deems quality printmaking. If I was learning to be a printmaker and I had to buy this for a class, I would be mortified.