As a professional graphic designer and illustrator, I've come to own about a dozen similar titles, but this one is consistently my first choice when it comes to researching and creating color combinations for my work. The main part of the book features more than 3,200 color palettes. The palettes are organized first by hue and then by harmony, and a name, an image, and accurate CMYK, RGB and HEX color values are given for each. Although only 3 to 5 colors make up each palette, building up larger combinations is easy because 18 compatible palettes are listed on each page, and additional matching colors can usually be found within a single page or in its adjacent ones. The rest of the book comprises: a) a selection of palettes derived from beautiful nature photography (including animals, landscapes, and the earth); b) a short overview of color theory (including basics, terminology, color spaces, palette creation tools, and history, meaning and application of color in design); and c) a URL index that lists the original COLOURlovers website link for each palette. The enclosed PC- and Mac-compatible CD includes digital files for the palettes in several file formats, each format contained in a separate folder. The available formats are ASE (for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), Expression (for CorelDRAW, Expression Design, Scribus), GIMP (for Gimp, Inkscape), and HTML (for web browsers). For each palette in each format, a .png copy of the palette image from the book is included--very useful for comparing digital vs. print colors. And since both the URL index and the material included in the CD follow the same organization of the book, it is extremely convenient to find and use the palettes, and cross-reference them between book, web, and design software. Other pluses for the book are its superb paper and print quality, and its spiral-bound hardcover format, which allows the book to lay completely flat when open and is tremendously convenient when consulting it while working. I consider this title a must-have reference for digital artists and designers looking for a rich, inspiring, and easy-to-use compendium of color combinations, and I truly hope the author releases a second volume in the future. For more wonderful palettes from the same source, I recommend visiting the COLOURlovers website. For comparable titles, I suggest checking out the "The Color Index" books by Jim Krause and "The Designer's Guide to Global Color Combinations" by Leslie Cabarga. --Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
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About the reviewer
M. E. Volmar (chupluf)
I've been a freelance artist, graphic designer, editor, and translator for over 15 years, and I love and greatly enjoy my job. Although my biggest passion is art and languages, I am interested in … more
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Darius is the Founder & CEO of COLOURlovers.com, a VC backed startup sharing the love of color with the world and empowering anybody to be a designer with super simple creative tools and access to a massive library of quality content. COLOURlovers is a 5x Webby Nominee for Best Community and won Best App in the Shorty Awards for Themeleon.com. The COLOURlovers creative community reaches nearly 2 million people each month and hosts more than 1.5 million member created color palettes.
Darius also cofounded Hands.org an international disaster relief NGO that organizes volunteers in the wake of a natural disaster to help those affected recover. He's spent more than a year living in disaster areas around the world organizing thousands of volunteers.