All about Colour

Front Cover
McClelland & Stewart, 2008 - Art - 454 pages
A fascinating and idiosyncratic journey through colour — its history, its meaning, and its effect on everyday life.

Janice Lindsay, an experienced colour designer with a background in art history and design, has always been passionate and curious about colour. In this book she shares a lifetime of discoveries about why colour, something we think will be simple to use and understand, is so complex. She takes us on a journey that combines history, biology, and interior design with personal insights from years of helping others choose colour and get it right. Along the way she recounts how a yellow was once made from cow’s urine and can be used as an intellectual stimulant. How blue used to be considered light black before it gained popularity and became more expensive than gold. And how vermilion red used to look better the longer it was ground — twenty years was just about long enough.

Lindsay explains how the invisible colour in daylight is as essential to our bodies as air and water. Colour is not just decoration, it has the power to change how we feel and function. She tells stories of colour-blind clients, of clients who thought they were happy living without colour until they found out what they were missing, and students whose marks improved once colour was added to the halls. Lindsay explains how we have a colour wisdom that is millions of years in the making based on nature encoded into our DNA and that we need to draw on that wisdom to humanize our built environments. Colour can make a house a home.

This book is about you. You and colour are linked in ways that we haven’t imagined. Beware: after reading this book you will never look at colour the same way again.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Janientrelac - LibraryThing

Interesting book, somewhat unfocused, mostly history of colour use and theory and decorating. But she doesn't use footnotes or a bib. the story about yellow dye from cow's urine is treated as absolute true but no proof. Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Interesting book but riddled with mistakes so take what you read with a grain of salt. Fine first effort; her editors should have done a more thorough job with fact checking and typos.

About the author (2008)

Janice Lindsay is Canada’s leading colour designer. Her work has appeared in publications like House and Home and Style at Home and on television’s City Line and HGTV. She writes about colour and design for the Globe and Mail, who have called her their “Design Diva.” She lives in Toronto with her husband, David Macfarlane, and their two children.

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