Design Book from C.H.I.P.S.

Understanding Color
An Introduction for Designers
Third Edition
by Linda Holtzschue

Understanding Color helps you connect the dots between your emotional, intuitive responses to color and the theories that explain them.


  • Updated material for successfully designing with color in a digital environment
  • Innovative coverage of color marketing issues
  • Dozens of new illustrations
  • Helpful tips for using color in the working environment
  • Valuable exercises to reinforce color concepts


An Introduction to Color Study

  • The Experience of Color
  • Color Awareness
  • The Uses of Color
  • Color-Order Systems
  • Color Study

A Little Light on the Subject

  • Light
  • Mixing Light: Additive Color
  • Lamps
  • Lighting Level
  • Vision
  • The Illuminant Mode of Vision
  • The Object Mode of Vision
  • Modifying Light: Colorants
  • Modifying Light: Surface
  • Transparent, Opaque, and Translucent
  • Lamps and Color Rendition
  • Metamerism and Matching
  • Luminosity
  • Indirect Light, Indirect Color
  • Modifying Light: Filters

The Human Element

  • The Sensation of Color
  • Visual Acuity for Color
  • Threshold
  • Intervals
  • The Perception of Color
  • Physiology: Responding to Light
  • Healing and Color
  • Synaesthesia
  • Psychology: Responding to Light
  • Color and Meaning
  • Naming Colors

The Vocabulary of Color: Hue

  • Hue
  • The Artists’ Spectrum
  • Primary and Secondary Colors
  • Saturated Color
  • Other Spectrums, Other Primaries
  • Chromatic Scales
  • Cool and Warm Colors
  • Analogous Colors
  • Complementary Colors
  • Equilibrium
  • Simultaneous Contrast
  • Afterimage and Contrast Reversal
  • Complementary Contrast
  • Tertiary Colors: Muted Hues and Brown
  • Black, White, Gray

The Vocabulary of Color: Value and Saturation

  • Value
  • Value and Image
  • Transposing Image
  • Pure Hues and Value
  • Tints and Shades
  • Monochromatic Value Scales
  • Comparing Value in Different Hues
  • Saturation
  • Saturation: Diluting Pure Hues with Gray
  • Saturation: Diluting Pure Hues with the Complement
  • Tone

Working with Color

  • Color Composition
  • Ground and Carried Colors
  • Placement and Color Change
  • Ground Subtraction
  • Reversing the Illusion: Two Colors as One
  • Influenced and Influencing Colors
  • Optical Mixes: Partitive Color
  • Spatial Effects of Colors
  • Color Illusions
  • Spreading Effect
  • Color and Area

Color Harmony

  • In Search of Beauty
  • A Brief History of Color Theory
  • Color Theory and Harmony
  • Color Harmony: From the Ground Up
  • Intervals and Harmony
  • Hue and Harmony
  • Value and Harmony
  • Saturation and Harmony
  • Major and Minor Themes
  • Some Harmonious Conclusions
  • On Beyond Harmony: Visual Impact.
  • On Beyond Harmony: Dissonant Colors
  • The X(tra)-Factor: Surface and Harmony

Tools of the Trade

  • It’s the Real Thing: Color in Product and Print
  • Artists’ Media
  • Subtractive Mixing
  • Tinting Strength
  • Process Colors

The Medium of Light

  • The Medium of Light
  • Lost in Translation
  • The Screen Display
  • Monitors
  • Software: Color Display Modes
  • Printed Images
  • Standards and Supports
  • Distributed Screen Images

The Business of Color

  • Palettes
  • Color Cycles
  • Color Forecasting
  • Color Sampling
  • Traditional Colors
  • Color and Product Identity
  • Influences on Palettes


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Understanding Color
An Introduction for Designers
Third Edition
by Linda Holtzschue

2006 • 208 pages • $59.00 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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