49. Agoston, G. A. Color Theory and Its Application in Art and

Design. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1979. Springer Series in Optical

Science. 137 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN


    Clear definitions of basic color vocabulary are followed by a

scientifically grounded discussion of the physical properties of light waves

and colorants. Perception, light, additive and subtractive color mixture,

mixture by averaging, color measurement or colorimetry, and chromaticity

using the CIE diagram are especially well covered. Of special interest are

chapters on identifying colors, and a comparison of the Munsell, Ostwald,

Natural Color System, and CIE color classification systems. This

technically sound presentation is accessible to the dedicated reader, whether

student or professional. The list of references in the endnotes and the

rigorous documentation increases the book’s value.

50. Bezold, Wilhelm von. The Theory of Color and Its Relation to An and Art-

Industry. Translated by S. R. Koehler. Boston: L. Prang, 1876. 274 pp.

Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    Bezold’s clear explanations of the physical basis of color and light,

the spectrum, color contrasts, and application of color theories make this a

very readable classic that addresses the concerns of artists. The discussion

of the nature of color also covers colorants, fiber and other materials,

organizing and mixing colors, and successive and simultaneous contrasts.

The final chapter applies theories of color balance to practice in decorative

arts and painting. The “Bezold effect” has been brought to the attention of

modem audiences in publications by many color authorities including Josef

Albers and Ralph Evans.

51. Hellman, Hal. The Art and Science of Color. New York: McGraw-Hill,

1967. 175 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    This introduction to the basic physics of light and color, modem

applications of color in science and technology, color in nature, color

perception, additive and subtractive color mixing, and the history of

pigments extends to the use of color by the Impressionists. Also included

are many experiments that can be easily performed. The simple and clear

explanations provide an excellent overview for the general reader. Of

special interest to the design reader is the discussion of the science and

technology of color reproduction, which deals with physiology,

psychology, physics, and chemistry.

52. Hunt, Robert William Gainer. The Reproduction of Colour in

Photography, Printing and Television. 4th ed. Tolworth, England:

Fountain, 1987. 640 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-


    This encyclopedic work provides basic principles for creating,

transmitting, and reproducing color “in the hopes that all those engaged in

producing, selling, buying, or using colour pictures will be able to see the

nature of the problems they encounter.” Four major parts focus on color

fundamentals, color photography, color television, and color printing.

Information on practical application of color principles in color reproduction

is combined with discussions of relevant physical, physiological,

psychological, or subjective dimensions of color. The 29 chapters address

350 varied topics such as the colorimetry of subtractive systems, printing

color negatives, color scanners, color separations, video, and television

display. Computer-generated pictures and electronic retouching are

additions to this updated 4th edition. The general and thus more accessible

introductory sections cover such topics as light sources and visual

appreciation. Detailed explanations of the principles, processes, and

calculations involved in specific applications, such as electronic cameras and

image structure in color photography, await the advanced reader in the later


53. Kueppers, Harald. Color, Origin,  Systems, Uses. Translated by

F. Bradley. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972. Bibl., color illus.

ISBN 0-442-29985-0.

    Drawing from his background in engineering and color reproduction

technology, Kuepper’s intent is to systematically integrate information from

the vast field of theory. Discussions of the nature of color in general, color

in the environment ,and color and language, and physiology, are followed

by a physical and technical section. Topics include electromagnetic

vibrations, the light spectrum, color temperature, color saturation, and

measurement of color density. A well-illustrated review of color systems

explores primary colors and the color circle, complementary colors, additive

and subtractive mixtures, and finally such color systems and color solids as

Hickethier, Ostwald, CIE, DIN 61 64, and the Kueppers rhombohedron.

“Points to Remember,” the final eight-page section provides (in the absence

of an index) a highly useful summary of all important ideas presented.

While this work emphasizes color technology, Kuepper’s fine books

include The Basic Law of Color Theory (1982), which is a color primer

with an “understandable color theory based on scientifically supported fact ”

for teachers and color educators, and Color Atlas: A Practical Guide to

Color Mixing (1982), a color specification guide for four color printing.

54. Luckiesh, Matthew. Color and Its Applications. New York: D. Van

Nostrand, 1915. 357 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color


    This condensed discussion of color science is intended for those

whose major concern is color application. Among the topics addressed are

color and light, color mixing, terminology, color and vision, and color

relativity. The author, a physicist with General Electric, relates color

science to color photography, lighting, theater, displays, painting, color

matching, color and music, and coloring media. While obviously very

dated, this book is important for its historic viewpoint.

55. Simons, Hilda. The Splendor of Iridescence: Structural

Colors in the Animal World. New York: Dodd, 1971. 268 pp.

Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-396-06208-3.

The mechanics of iridescence are explained in reference to the

structure of animal tissues, whether scales or feathers, which cause

undulating light waves that result in pure, strong color. This

phenomenon is further discussed as it can be seen among fish, birds, and

insects. The section on “The Anatomy of Structural Colors” presents clear

and detailed information on the physical and scientific sources of color in

general and iridescent hues in particular. Color vision in the animal

kingdom is compared with human color vision. Handsome color drawings

by the author supplement the informative and entertaining text.

56. Taylor, F. A. Color Technology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962.

140 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    This book is intended to explain the science and technology of color

to the layperson and to provide a guide for art, craft, and industrial design

practitioners. Clear and thorough accounts are provided of the physical and

chemical aspects of color agents, the physiological relationship between

color and vision, and the psychological influences of color such as color

preference and symbolism. Discussions of the hue circle, color harmony,

and “regular progression of color” or predetermined color sequences are

included. Although this work is frequently cited in bibliographies, Taylor is

also known for his translation of Wilhelm Ostwald’s Colour Science

(1931). Some of his opinionated statements make us wince today, for

example: “the human male is biologically and psychologically more finely

balanced than the female.” Another weakness lies in the poor quality of the

color illustrations, which do not successfully illustrate the points being


57. Warfel, William B., and Walter Klappert. Color Science for

Lighting the Stage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.

Indices, B/W illus. ISBN 0-300-02554-82.

    Colorimetry is used to systematize the information in this guide on

stage lighting media. Principles of additive light, colorimetry, solving color

problems, dimming, and mixing are thoroughly discussed. Over 100 full-

page maps and lists of all available color gels present a systematic approach

for selecting and combining gels. The clear explanations in colorimetry

chapter, which assumes no prior knowledge, will be accessible to the

general reader as well as useful to the theater lighting designer.

58. Williamson, Samuel I., and Herman Z. Cummins. Light and

Color in Nature and Art. New York: Wiley, 1983. 488 pp. Index,

bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-471-08374-7.

    This excellent text introduces the science of light and color and its

applications to art, photography, television, natural phenomena, and other

related areas. It covers color perception, theory and application, with

emphasis on light, energy, and optics. Aimed at college students with little

or no background in math and science, this carefully documented textbook

includes study questions, exercises, and suggested further readings at the

end of each chapter. Although a science background may not be a

prerequisite, the student with the interest and ability to follow technical

scientific writing will benefit the most. The companion teacher’s guide adds

many useful ideas for demonstrations in classroom or studio.

59. Woodson, Wesley E. Human Factors Design Handbook:

Information and Guidelines for the Design of Systems,

Facilities, Equipment, and Products for Human Use. New York:

McGraw-Hill, 1981. Index, bibl., B/Willus, bibl. ISBN 0-07-071765-6.

    Nine chapters in this encyclopedic handbook cover systems

concepts, and systems for architecture, transportation, military, space,

industrial, agricultural, communication, and consumer products. Most

pages have diagrams and line drawings as well as text with specific

guidelines. A special feature is the bibliography of 180 titles for four

categories: basic human engineering references (including health and

safety); architecture; highway engineering, and other human factors. An

additional listing of information sources and organizations supplements the

limited documentation within the text. Designers will find much of interest

in the sections on color usage for consumer products; lighting design and

appearance ratings of typical surface colors; visual displays and use of

colors and equipment color-coding; visual response and visual system

characteristics, typical colors and their effect on human color perception and

glare, and recommended lamp colors for various task and locations.

Information on the Munsell system is included. This handy reference

condenses a huge body of essential information for industrial designers,

architects, interior designers, furniture designers, planners, and engineers

who must or should address human factors in the design process.

60. Zakia, Richard D., and Hollis N. Todd. Color Primer I & II.

Dobbs Ferry, NY: Morgan & Morgan, 1974. 75 pp. Index, color illus.

ISBN O-87100-021-0.

    This programmed manual guides the reader through 66 questions on

basic color concepts to be answered in writing in the spaces provided.

Color Primer I covers light primaries; Color Primer II covers the subtractive

primaries of dyes, paints, and filters. Short summary sections conclude

each primer, and a set of colored filters is provided for use in demonstrating

the effects of light primary mixing. Bold colored diagrams illustrate many

topics ranging from a comparison of the subtractive primaries with the

colors of light to choosing colored lens filters to achieve a desired effect in

photography. A useful distinction is made between lightness as reflected

light, and brightness as direct light. Using a format associated with the

work of B. F. Skinner, the reader first works through Color Primer I

which is laid out on the top half' of each page, then turns the book upside

down to read Color Primer II. The explanations and diagrams are excellent;

however, some readers may be distracted by seeing the brightly colored

visuals for both primers at the same time.