Color – Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource
Books on color may be easy to come by, but not many receive the high accolades that Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource (by Leatrice Eiseman) does. Amazon.com customers call it, “a great resource…that my team loves to reference,” “interesting,” “excellent,” and “the best color guide;” one graphic design student said she even used it for class and that it was, “the best I could have asked for.”
Messages & Meanings is a follow-up to the PANTONE Guide to Communicating with Color; it could even be viewed as a sequel. The difference is that it is chock-full of new material, like color families, color in the marketplace (in terms of advertising, packaging, visual presentations, etc.), dissecting the color wheel into schemes, color order, mood creation with color combinations, color conversions, insights on how to incorporate color into your work, and future trends.
A reader favorite is the section on evoking different feelings with certain colors; for example, pinks give the impression of sweetness. This could be why so many successful bakeries use pastels in their signage (see Cupcake Royale in Seattle, WA). Browns and purple tones bring to mind a high taste level or richness. Greens, browns, and tans make us think of foliage, so environmental groups may be partial to these. Blues are sentimental and nostalgic. So while you can read this review and picture the different colors, it’s much better to read Messages & Meanings.
Eiseman states all of the above, but also provides PANTONE color cards as well as including pictures of everyday objects, or advertising samples in the colors she is discussing. For example, in the blue section, Eiseman talks of the sentimentality of “delicately pressed flowers, tinted postcards, faded photos in an old album, vintage ads and posters,” and she includes pictures of blue and purple flowers, blue eggs, a kitschy menu, etc. She does this in over 20 sections, each with gorgeous color combinations, pictures, and explanations of the feelings that these colors create.
Eiseman has created phenomenal tool and easy reference for homeowners, amateurs, students, and designers. Messages and Meanings will skillfully and creatively guide you through your color exploration.