Book: Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers

Color Management A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers
My local library stocked the red version, but blue, purple and white versions also exist. (And maybe more.)

Look, but don’t read.
224 pages,

I didn’t enjoy reading this book. It’s nice to look at, though.

Color Management‘s strength is that it’s beautifully-produced. It’s a fine example of how to make a stunning design portfolio with near-perfect color palettes and suitable font choices for your audience. It describes the process of creating color palettes, and the science of choosing fonts, but the English isn’t good enough to educate me—it merely looks good on the page.

The font is small and printed on a colored background. The page layout is confusing. Whole paragraphs are unnecessary. Some facts are repeated, and others are wrong. (On page 177, it tells us that 32-bit color allows for 16.8 million colors on your palette—in fact, it allows for 4.3 billion. Even I know that.)

The science of design is useful for road signs, billboards, packaging, pamphlets—things I’m not going to spend more than a few seconds looking at; but design overkill” in this book is distracting. Anything that’s going to be looked at for hours needs to have good content, not just a good first impression. The over-emphasis on first impressions makes my eyes wonder aimlessly around each page. Where should I start reading now? There’s too much colourful text, and the top two thirds and the bottom third of each page contain separate content.

Reading Color Management is rather like simultaneously reading a two-tier news ticker on TV (while also paying attention to the pictures on the rest of the screen). If that were possible, it still wouldn’t be fun.

I’d prefer my graphic design textbook to be mostly plain text, followed by illustrations and examples that fill whole pages. Please don’t make the whole book look like a series of advertisements. They’ve squeezed theory into an example-shaped mould, and failed to educate.

Put this book on a corporate guest table. Then when you’ve arrived early for your all-important appointment, browse through this mindless eye-candy before going in. In those situations, nobody really reads the text anyway. It looks good, though. ★★

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