Color is essential for life.
—Frank H. Mahnke
Color is stimulating, calming, expressive, disturbing, exuberant, symbolic. It pervades every aspect of life, embellishes the ordinary, and gives beauty and drama to everyday objects. If black-and-white images bring the news of the day, color writes the poetry.
The romance of color exists for everyone, but color plays a far more important role for design professionals. Forms, colors, and their arrangement are the foundation elements of design, and of these, color is arguably the most powerful weapon in the designer's arsenal. A skilled colorist understands how colors are seen, when and why they seem to change, the variety of their meanings and suggestive powers—and how to apply that knowledge to enhance the marketability of products. Whether that product is a graphic design, a sweater, an airplane seat, a kitchen utensil, a laptop, a wedding cake, or anything else, color will play a great part in determining its success or failure in the consumer marketplace. For designers, color means business.
Color is, first, a sensory event. Every color experience begins as a physiological response to a stimulus of light. Colors of light are experienced in two very different ways. The colors on a monitor screen are seen as direct light. The colors of the real world—of printed pages, physical ...