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Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color Hardcover – October 19, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Prune and Gray Dawn infused Edwardian parties. Trekking Green and Saxony Blue helped color-code the World War I home front. Blue Bell gingham and Poppy Red slippers made The Wizard of Oz. In this visual feast for color nerds, hue gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker identify the shades that shaped our collective color palette." -- Fast Company

"With more than 200 images of art, fashion, products, and decor, color expert Leatrice Eiseman and color consultant Keith Recker identify 100 years of color influenced by historical and cultural milestones. Both well-known and seldom-seen art illustrates the trends.... Most decades have eight palettes presenting a broad spectrum of color contrasts with an entertaining text that touches on countless cultural events.... As the century draws to a close, many images prompt a rush of memories as colors recall the spirit of the times." -- Communication Arts

"PANTONE: The Twentieth Century in Color is as much an ultimate treat for color-lovers as it is a fascinating and uncommon lens on familiar cultural history, a vibrant volume among the year's finest design-and-beyond books." -- TheAtlantic.com

"Luxuriating over the names and choices of paint colors--Rubine Red, Rhodamine Red or Warm Red?--is one of the joys of going to the hardware store, even if you're only there to find a missing screw for the air conditioner and not a new shade for the living room walls. For anyone who relishes that trip down the chip aisle, salivating over Purple Opulence and Moonless Night, Pantone: The 20th Century in Color is a must-give. What surprises, however, is the larger historical picture that the hefty tome creates. The colors are organized by decade and by timely reference, including the fashion, television, news, art and design that inspired them." -- Oprah.com Holiday Gift Guide

"Iconic images from each decade and the color palettes they inspired--a trip down memory lane." --House Beautiful

"A gorgeous compendium of color trends spanning the twentieth century (with naturally some sly winks into our own 21st century). It's marvelous to leaf through or read in greater depth." -- Salon.com

"A fascinating look back." -- HOW

"A decade-by-decade deconstruction of the hues and shades that constituted the groovier aesthetics of the last century." -- Dwell

"Pantone: The 20th Century in Color by Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker is more than just a gorgeous coffee table book. It is a walk through the kaleidoscope of colors that appear on appliances, house walls, carpeting, furnishings, and more. It's a look back at the entertainment and historical events that influenced the colors in today's homes. Homeowners who want an accurate period decor will find this book inspiring." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Pantone: The 20th Century in Color (Chronicle Books), looks at how color and cultural history affect each other, and find their way into our homes. Authors Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker...use a curatorial approach in discussing each decade's most prevalent colors and why they might have become popular. It's an unusual lens on the last century: What was happening in society literally colored our lives, through upholstery, wall paint, rugs, and other textiles and accessories." -- Associated Press

About the Author

Pantone, LLC is the world-renowned authority on color. Pantone's color systems - used in digital and print publishing, fashion, plastics, architecture, interiors, and paint - are the standard languages for accurate color communication.

Leatrice Eiseman is the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, a forecaster, consultant, author, and director of Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Keith Recker is a color trend consultant for Pantone, and editor and founder of HAND/EYE magazine. He lives in Shelter Island, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Printing edition (October 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811877566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811877565
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach color theory in a major design school in California, and I have been eager to find a good source of decade by decade palette information for the 20th century. I am sad to say that this isn't that book. It is written from a fashion point of view, with grand sounding pronouncements about arbitrarily chosen artifacts. And, it is a Pantone book, so its primary purpose is to promote Pantone (A system invented in 1963, two thirds of the way through the 20th century), rather than provide insight into why certain hue combinations became popular. There is some visual entertainment to be found here, to be sure, but overall this is a lost opportunity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like so many oversized books, this one is woefully over-produced. While dividing it into decades is a useful device, miniscule type for the text and skimpy pictures, both in quantity and size, made this a real disappointment for me. I never check out anything in a bookstore before I buy at Amazon, but if I had seen this, I would not have purchased it. There are two things I love above all else: colors and the English language. Both get short shrift here.
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Format: Hardcover
'The 20th century in color' seems an incredibly slim premise for a book and so it turns out. Really just a collection of color photos and graphics tipped into the pages. There seems to be no objective criteria for the choice of images, their significance or how they are used. Each spread has a large photo on the right-hand side yet so many of these are just not worth using big because of poor quality or blandness: page 163 has a soft focus PR shot of Don Johnson and Philip Thomas from Miami Vice; page 149 an equally soft focus John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever; a badly cropped and uncolorful shot Kurt Cobain is on page 175.

The authors have written some very generalized historical copy to go with the images and this text seems to rely on what pictorial material was available for each mini essay, so a series of pictures from the past are included even though they have no particular historical relevance. The authors, it seems, have written several equally light-weight books clustered around a Pantone theme.

The fact that I picked up a copy really cheaply suggests to me that the title has no substance or sales and was quickly dropped into the Close-out bin.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a designer for 35 plus years, I was expecting more of a wow book, especially in the design of the book. Wouldn't buy again.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a holiday gift, and I love it. As a freelance graphic designer, I have kept my Pantone guide on my drawing table for decades -- held together with a rubber band, but still going strong. But this recent book really approaches the topic of color in a whole other way. It makes the connection between COLOR and a social timeline. And there is no denying it.....Color really does end up defining a Moment In Time. Is this a ponderous tome about color theory? - thankfully not. Instead, it brings together the diverse artistry of Leon Bakst and those hip guys from Miami Vice. (you'll just have to read the book to figure out THAT seemingly-obtuse connection) This a book that you will enjoy having on your coffee table, or in your studio -- Just keep it handy, and let it fall open to any page. Clinical? -- No. Fascinating? -- Definitely.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book. It is a nice book. It gives a broad review of last century color tendencies, but it is not a specialized book for in depth research, for instance, but we don't always need to perform expert advanced research. Make a search in the book section on Amazon.com for "Pantone DBR106 The 20th Century in Color", I don't know why, but you will find the same book for only $20 ($8 less)!
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By Educational mom on September 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book. It is a nice book. It gives a broad review of last century color tendencies, but it is not a specialized book for in depth research, for instance, but we don't always need to perform expert advanced research. Make a search in the book section on Amazon.com for "Pantone DBR106 The 20th Century in Color", I don't know why, but you will find the same book for only $20 ($8 less)!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinated by the Pantone approach to color so I bought this book mainly for amusement but I have turned to it again and again when deciding on pallets for projects. Not a definitive reference by any means, but useful none the less.
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