How Colour Changed Our Way of Seeing

Riccardo Falcinelli author


Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd

Published:3rd Nov '22


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Chromorama cover

The Italian colour bible: a gorgeously illustrated exploration of colour and the modern gaze, from an award-winning designer

'Fresh and exciting, like an unopened packet of coloured pencils. Countless thought-provoking facts to ponder over, beautifully written' Coralie Bickford-Smith, author of The Fox and the Star

Why are pencils yellow and white goods white? Why is black the colour of mourning? What connects Queen Victoria's mauve gown and Michelle Obama's yellow dress?

In Chromorama, acclaimed graphic designer Riccardo Falcinelli delves deep into the history of colour to show how it has shaped the modern gaze. With over four hundred illustrations throughout and with examples ranging widely across art and culture - from the novels of Gustave Flaubert to The Simpsons, from Byzantine jewellery to misshapen fruit, from Mondrian to Hitchcock's thrillers - Falcinelli traces the evolution of our long relationship with colour, and how first the industrial revolution, and then the dawn of the internet age, changed it forever.

Beautifully designed, deeply researched, and written with warmth and wit, Chromoroma is an engrossing account of shade and light, of tone and hue, of dyes, pigments, and pixels. It is the story of why we now see the world the way we do.

Completely fascinating . . . I had no idea I knew so little about colour, Chromorama explodes the myths and fills in the blanks. A wonderful book. -- Lauren Laverne * BBC Radio 6 *
Fascinating. A mine of ideas and questions, suppositions and facts. Although Keats mourned the rainbow's unmaking, Falcinelli, in drawing his myriad-hued references together, weaves a different magic into its arc -- Rachel Campbell-Johnston * The Times *
Brilliant. Chromorama looks at the history of colour in an accessible, innovative and very human way * Creative Review *
Falcinelli is an esteemed graphic designer and the book has been a success in Italy; it covers a rich subject, familiar to all but so little understood outside a few specialisms that it has endless capacity to surprise. . . The elegant integration of text and images calls to mind John Berger's 1972 Ways of Seeing * Literary Review *
Fresh and exciting, like an unopened packet of coloured pencils. Countless thought-provoking facts to ponder over, beautifully written. Falcinelli made me see the world in a new light -- Coralie Bickford-Smith, author of The Fox and the Star
A fascinating montage history of the perception, money and technology behind colour, running across the spectrum all the way from dragon's blood to E120 -- Owen Hatherley, author of Trans-Europe Express
A book that not only makes the world brighter and more complex, but which sharpens our sense of how that world might look differently and might be made differently. Falcinelli has a luminous appreciation for human creativity, and a passionate and quietly radical sense of the richness of experience possible outside of modern mass-production. Chromorama is a luxurious and immersive work -- Seán Hewitt, author of All Down Darkness Wide
One of the best books on colour I've read. A layered tapestry of stories, insights and ideas, each beautifully and clearly written. I expected to read about things I already knew about, but it kept surprising me in its twists and turns. For anyone interested in colour, it's a must. -- Marion Deuchars, author of Let's Make Some Great Art
This book is a wonderful celebration of the impact of colour on our lives, and a reminder that so much of the world we take for granted has had the thoughtful eye of a designer behind it -- Stefanie Posavec, co-author of Dear Data
Dazzlingly beautiful. . . A covetable book, perfectly designed, filled with enchanting images and stories. Falcinelli answers an essential question: what are books for? To remind us that nothing is fixed. Tastes, rules, prohibitions. . . everything changes * La Repubblica *
One of the most important graphic designers in Italy, Falcinelli takes us on a journey to discover the meaning of colour. With four hundred images featuring comics and architecture, movies and everyday objects, he tells the story of why we understand colour the way we do * Il Libraio *
A book that you can hear and taste, read and savour. Ranging widely across ideas and images, it follows in the footsteps of Roland Barthes * Il Messaggero *

ISBN: 9780241573792

Dimensions: 215mm x 138mm x 35mm

Weight: 874g

480 pages