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The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet
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The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world.

Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to hu
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published October 8th 2013)
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Orsolya
Our daily lives are surrounded by both vivid and dull hues, endless tones, and various shades. However, we take colors for granted. The mind-blowing part is that objects aren’t intrinsically ‘colored’. Once our brains interpret the wavelengths being reflected at us, then our environment is filled in with the massive Crayola box. So, it IS sort of a black and white world, afterall! Why do we see color? How does it work? These questions are answered by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut in, “The Se ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/


This is, without question, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of color. Arielle Eckstut has created a content-rich book written in a friendly and conversational manner that makes so many of the very nebulous color concepts and theories readily understandable - even fascinating.

The book is divided as follows: a first chapter that explains some of the misconceptions of color (e.g., Yellow/Blue/Red are no
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University of Chicago Magazine
Arielle Eckstut, AB’92
Coauthor

From our pages (Nov–Dec/13): "Joann Eckstut, a color consultant, and Arielle Eckstut, a member of the children’s committee of the Color Association of the United States, considered themselves color experts. They were proven wrong in researching their new book. They learned, for example, that grass is not green (the human brain perceives color differently than other animals). Exploring color through the lens of numerous academic disciplines, the authors were surprise
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M
A great book with lots of vibrant photos of art, nature, and culture all highlighting the color around us. It will help you start thinking about colors differently and paying more attention to the ones you see around you. It's accessible (though I don't mean that in an insulting away) and touches on a great deal of subjects very briefly. The chapters are split up by the original Newtionian color scale (ROYGBIV), these chapters are intersected with parts of our earth and discussing the importance ...more
Soup
ARC via NetGalley

One of two color books I’ve recently read, and certainly the meatier of the pair. Lots of facts and information on all aspects of color from social to natural and technical to emotional. The content is easy to process and ‘chunked’ in a fashion that suggests a coffee table book although I’ve rarely seen a coffee table book quite this lengthy. It’s a solid win for factoid lovers, but those looking for an in depth discussion should either look elsewhere or use this book as a jumpi
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M.
"How can you have any pudding if ye don't eat yer meat?!"

Just one example of the type of book that may have upset Neil Postman. It features gorgeous photography, sharp graphic design and editing, engaging charts and diagrams, factoids galore, and condenses various disciplines into a seamless, easily digestible read.

The problem being that it is effectively parading as an educational textbook trying to make these disparate topics *FUN* by tying it together with the loose concept of color. It was
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Brenda
I was at the Junior High Library's book sale when this book caught my eye. I tried to talk myself out of buying it. If you, dear reviewer of books, saw my bookshelf who would understand. However on the last day of the book sale, I broke down and bought it. I don't regret that decision at all. It is full of information on a wide range of subjects. The book is broke down by a color and how that color's importance is history, culture, etc. That is followed by a large natural science chapter that ta ...more
Judith
Lovely book that is more interesting than what the cover indicates. I quickly read the sections on red, blue and violet and wanted to read more.
Tracey
I've read two different books dealing with color over the past few months - this one and ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color by Jude Stewart back in October. I don't remember how I found that one, but this book was featured on NPR's Morning Edition back in early November. I checked both out of the local library - I'd recommend reading the dead tree version vs an ebook, unless you have a color tablet (would be a bit silly to read about about colors on a black & white device ...more
Paula
I went back and forth between giving this book 4 or 5 stars. But in the end, I think it deserves 5 stars for having the courage to tackle such a complex subject matter. We all have thought about color from when we're small children, but not necessarily in the way that this book presents the subject. For instance, a history of color, why it evolved, which colors appeared first in human language, and the ways colors are significant in different cultures around the world, are all topics discussed h ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Jun 17, 2014 Kathleen Dixon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathleen by: Pt Chev Bookshop stock
Shelves: science, art
This sumptuous book has given me hours of lingering pleasure over the last month. It does everything its somewhat clunky subtitle says it will and gives the reader an information-rich and lavishly illustrated volume that tells and shows you everything you have always wanted to know about colour and how it works.

I daresay the subtitle was necessary. If I'd read a title saying simply "The Secret Language of Colour" I might have expected something like The Secret Language of Life: How Animals and P
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Anne
4.5 or 5 stars? Who cares? I'm still feeling the utter delight of having read this book. It was everything a coffee table book on colors should be - chock full of both spectacular graphics and delicious tidbits of information. I appreciated that it was written by people more from the design world so not only did I get (light) scientific but also cultural information on color - it was a great mix. And there were bits of whimsy that made me smile.

So I guess that sounds like a 5 star review!
Lisa Pliscou
Fun, fascinating, and (pun intended) insightful!

Lively in tone, clearly based on a great deal of research, "The Secret Language of Color" smartly pulls off the difficult coup of being both erudite and entertaining. And, as one would hope for in a book of this sort, it's beautifully designed, creating a fascinating intermix of form and function. Ultimately it may very well change how you see the world around you.
Eva Kelly
This one is one of mama's books and it has so many words and so many pictures and it's hard but you know what? I can't stop looking at it. I can see why she likes it because I can't even read most of it and I think it's interesting. I bet it's REALLY interesting when you know what all the words are.
Elizabeth
A colorful book! An amazing resource of all aspects of color. Even where their names originate. The pictures are astounding. I love the science and history and little facts. An absorbing read that will occupy you and fascinate. Great book for the coffee table to be picked up and sampled in little bites.
Fiona
Most of this book was very, very interesting. The format and design is also wonderful.
I found the little icons hidden at the beginning of each color chapter charming, though.
I love how this book covers so many different areas of knowledge and links it all back to color. It is a really good read.
However, there were way too many mistakes in this to be rated a 5. There were little typos more than a few times, and a whole paragraph and some ended up being repeated, messing up the format of that sec
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Becky
Easy read, though time-consuming with tons of info and pictures to absorb. I love the humor and poetic presentation of each color along with the scientific info- who knew some of this stuff??? Now we all can.
Johanna Haas
Absolutely gorgeous book - plus it answered nearly all of my questions about color. How do other cultures see color? Why isn't there much blue in the wile? Why does green represent both life and death?
Katherine Becvar
This book was very lovely to look at, but the content left a lot to be desired. The beautiful layout and photos did not make up for the continuity errors and iffy logic and causation. No surprise that the authors are designers, not scientists.
Amanda Briggs
Best book about color I have ever read!
Du
An interesting overview of color and what it represents to humans, as we interact with nature and each other.
Dhonna
A fun read with great pictures!
Emmanuel
did you know that the red in your starbucks strawberry frappucino comes from dead bugs? or that new york was called new orange for a year? or that yellow is equal parts yin and yang to the chinese? or that green scrubs allow surgeons to more effectively do their jobs? or that during the inquisition, you were deemed christian (a.k.a. acceptable) if you could see blue blood in your veins? or that nero would have you killed if you wore his favorite color, purple? yeah, me neither
Graf
Mar 20, 2014 Graf rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: nf
For artists and anyone else who loves, appreciates, and is fascinated by color. It's very . . . colorful!
Gina Mcandrew
Color is definitely a science and that is a concept the authors show from the beginning. On the other hand, from a "Christian" worldview, the book unnecessarily weaves evolution and humanism through its pages. I like how each color receives an individual section: most artists think in color so that is a logical layout.
Janet Hey
Interesting book
Elaine
More detailed than ROY G. BIV, which I read earlier this year, the stunning photography only magnified the beauty and quality information of this book. I want to know even MORE about color now! I think Mary Roach needs to get to work on a book on the science of color now! :)
Ashley
This book is eye-opening and not because it is about color. A wealth of information from religion to ice cream to newsprint you may not think is related to color but is. Also written in a humorous voice. Makes a great price for a coffee table.
Jessica
This book is very interesting. It relates the great and varies history of cultures and the reactions and treatments of certain colors in every day life. The photos are very vivid and do a great job of portraying each point.
Anna
I wanted to like this more. It's full of interesting research and beautifully pulled together with the graphics. Unfortunately, I was consistently distracted by the narration. The authors are such putzes.
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