Although many of the books selected for this Graphic and Visual Communication

section cover a broad range of topics, they are arranged according

to their major emphasis. This category includes, appropriately, a number of

spectacular publications that are created by professional production teams of

writers, editors, researchers, designers and photographers that reach a very high

standard of color printing.

    Advertising Design and Marketing includes books with information on the

use of color in business and industry as a marketing tool. They address color

within the context of product development, merchandising, advertising, and


    Color Reproduction and Printing Technology provides a listing of books

that examine the design process and printing industry technology. This section also

includes books with color systems, devised by design writers such as Hickethier

and Kueppers, that enable designers to specify CMYK percentages for four-color

printing. Information on commercially available color standards, inks and papers

based on color systems and atlases such as Pantone® or Munsell are to be found

under Color Order Systems (85 - 105). Practical guides that show various color

combinations intended to help designers visualize colors groupings and specify

CMYK percentages for printing are listed under Design Guides to Color

Combinations (442 - 449).

    Drawing and Illustration includes a small group of books that contain

chapters or sections on color, some of which are surprisingly valuable, especially

when compared with the treatment of color theory in basic design texts or

introductory color texts. These books also introduce various media and techniques

for using color in drawing and illustration.

    Graphic Design includes books that focus on the role of color in graphic

design, general works with sections on color, and specialized books on type and

color. The recent importance of color in Newspaper Design has inspired new

publications specific to color, as well as chapters in general works on the use of

color in newspaper design. 

    Although books on Packaging Design have been on the scene since the

1920s, most of the nine books listed here treat color in a section, and only two

focus entirely on color in packaging (Birren 475, Favre 476). Some very brief

discussions of the subject can also be found in books that focus on Graphic Design.

The books listed under Photography have at least a section on color theory

and the nature of color, although they tend to emphasize the technology involved in

color photography and photographic color printing. Only one focuses entirely on

color design (Mante 496).

    Since many of these books emphasize design practice and application, they

are generally accepted at face value by students and practitioners for their

usefulness. As a group these books often lack the documentation, lists of

references, or bibliographies found in scholarly researched books, and many of

these writers do not reveal their sources. So we make special note when these

features are included.

    While some books focus on technical information for practitioners, the most

highly recommended books have a broad scope, are well designed and illustrated,

and balance color theory with practical information. Ideally, that information is

substantiated. Some older titles of particular historic interest are included.