Cover Image: The Pocket Complete Color Harmony

The Pocket Complete Color Harmony

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

**I received and voluntarily read an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

I understand this is a pre-print copy used for early reviews, but I found it hard to look at for long periods of time due to the blurriness of the file.

Overall, however, assuming the blurry issue is fixed for print and final copies, informative and an interesting read.
Was this review helpful?
This is a nifty little book filled with all kinds of interesting and useful information about color. It starts with a guide to color theory, and includes over 1500 color palettes to spark creativity. Following this is a guide to the psychology of color, which I found very interesting, that will be of great use to designers of all types, artists, advertisers, marketers, etc. A super handy resource in a smaller size than the original, making it easy to carry around with you. Definitely recommended!

#ThePocketCompleteColorHarmony #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
A good choice for those to add to their colour study - good for artists and others who have an interest in this.
Was this review helpful?
Your Help with Color Harmony
"The Pocket Complete Color Harmony. 1500 Plus Color Palettes for Designers, Artists, Architects, Makers, and Educators" by Tina Sutton, Quarto Publishing Group - Rockport Publishing, is the abbreviated version of "The Complete Color Harmony" by the same author which was published in 2004. After the introduction the author presents information about topics such as the Color Wheel, the Color Chart, Aspects of Color (hot, cold, warm, cool, light, dark pale, bright), or Basic Color Schemes. The main part of the book is entitled "Moods and Color" (e.g., powerful, romantic, vital, moving, tropical, classic, or subdued). Every mood is introduced with a picture and a brief explanatory text before the corresponding swatches are presented. The swatches are sadly bleared and, especially toward the right side of the charts, they are also faint. Even the outlines for the swatches are fuzzy. The question which arises is if this is only a problem in the ARC which I received or if it is also an issue in the printed copy of the book.
I appreciated the chapter about the Psychology of Color and deem the Process Color Chart a great help. Sadly even here the samples are blurry. Nevertheless the book contains good graphic and pictures. It is a great book but the execution could be far better and then subsequently it could be a great tool for the specified target group.
The complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley free of charge. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#ThePocketCompleteColorHarmony	#NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The Pocket Complete Color Harmony is a color reference with over 1500 suggested palettes. This is a pocket sized abbreviated companion to The Complete Color Harmony by the same author. Released 13th Oct 2020 by Quarto on their Rockport imprint, it's 192 pages and available in compact paperback and ebook formats.

This is a very concise and accessible introduction to color theory and use. The introduction includes info about the color wheel and primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, but it provides additional information about actually choosing and *using* color (which is where most of us stumble). The author also includes info on the artistic process, and shading, tint, brightness and other technical aspects but additionally provides a multitude of palettes already made for people looking for some direct help (stitchers, painters, decorators, makers, etc). 

The palettes are arranged roughly thematically: purity, richness, boldness, and many (many) more. Palettes are provided with 2-3 color swatches each, numbered by hue, tint, and shade. There's a key to the numbering and labeling of the colors at the beginning of the book along with suggestions for how to use them. I'm not 100% sure exactly how useful the system is (it's not, for example, the pantone codes) but for general use it's quick, usable, and layman accessible.

This would be a nice selection for maker's group, artist's studio, fibre-artists, guild groups, library acquisitions, and similar. Four stars. (For readers - it goes without saying that the electronic version must be accessed on a device which has a color screen). 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
I really loved this book.  A lot of art books give you a primer but this takes color theory deeper. This goes over a variety of pallets as well as going into the psychology and history of the colors. The book includes gorgeous photos that help you truly see what are you are reading.
Was this review helpful?
This is meant as a reference for professionals - individuals in various artistic or design fields who already have an understanding of color.  As such, the introduction to color section is very brief and fairly inscrutable.  The heart of the book is providing a mood and then swatches that would achieve that mood.  But the swatches look to be done in watercolor, oddly enough, and are strangely blurry in many places, making them difficult to distinguish.  In all, I had a very hard time appreciating this book.

The book breaks down as follows:  Introductory sections (color wheel, how to use color, color chart, process color), a breakdown of color aspects (cool, hot, warm, light, dark, pale bright), and then moods and color.  The back has some brief writeups about the psychology of color, color conversion charts, color swatches.

As noted earlier, the introduction to color is pretty useless.  You're not going to gain an understanding of how primary, secondary, and tertiary work and it is all pretty confusing, to be honest. There isn't even much of a discussion of shades and tints to make sure you are using those words correctly.  I've worked with color for many years and was baffled at the presentation.

Since the book is about creating moods with color, there is an explanation of the psychology of color. The author makes an odd choice to say that a person's favorite color is a reliable indicator of their personality type and then gave examples  - which felt like astrology to me.

The color chart and swatches weren't 'pantone-like' solid color.  Instead, the color charts are all water color-like paints with the white showing through.  To show the transition of a color from darkest to lightest, they just desaturated the original and blurred it out more.  To show the tertiary colors, they mixed the red and green watercolors so that you could still see both the red and green in the orange.  For the mix of green and red, we had a yellow with a lot of green in it rather than something approaching blue.  It was very odd.

The moods are cleanly arranged but with a whole blob of swatches in your face; it creates a lot of distraction.  Each mood (e.g., "romantic" - which is heavy on pinks and greens) is broken down by: monochromatic swatches, primary swatches, complementary swatches, analogous swatches, split complementary swatches, split swatches, clash swatches, and neutral swatches.  It creates a wide range of color combinations but there is no understanding of why you would want e.g., a split complementary set of colors over clash when creating your 'romantic' mood.  Why you would use red, green and light blue (split swatches) versus purple, light purple, and pink (analogous).  With a page filled with 20 swatches next to another page with another 20 or so, it's a confusion of color.

The author has numbered each color for reference in the book but be reminded that in real life, you'll be going by Pantone or other professional color identification.  It might be a bit confusing and frustrating to choose a color scheme in the book and then have to match it up in a paint store or furniture store where the colors are tainted by fluorescent lighting.  What you think was a light pink in the store comes out fuchsia in natural light.

So, as a mood book this does provide inspiration and it should definitely not be something you get to better understand color harmony.  I found the 'watercolor' presentation lackluster (I'd rather have opaque color). I also didn't like that for each swatch, some colors were solid and others were fuzzy and out of focus.  I'm not sure why they were presented that way because it hurt the eyes and made it a chore to 'read'.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the pulisher.
Was this review helpful?
It's a dictionary of color, that contains minimal information on color theory, but offers a rich insight into the properties and effects of the various colors and their numerous combinations. So this is a shortcut the artist may use to achieve the desired effect. For digital artist and for printing  is useful (and first time I've seen in an artbook) the Process Color Conversion Chart.  Obviously the book is full of color and well presented.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a digital review copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review - thank you to the publisher * 

Although this is clearly a book to be enjoyed most in print format, as the pages were pixelated and blurred in my digital copy, I found the content interesting. It provides a brief overview of colour theory and then presents visually appealing colour combinations. A useful desk companion for someone exploring art for the first time.
Was this review helpful?
This book is filled with a variety of combinations and shades of colour, with the use of vibrant pictures and colour charts. I was surprised with some of the chosen colours to combine together. I never would have imagined to put certain colours together but it brings interest and makes the picture pop. I'm completely inspired and ready to play with colours. I plan to use this knowledge for creating backdrops and decorating my journal. Brighten up your life with the insightful pocket complete colour harmony.
Was this review helpful?
I was granted a complimentary digital copy of The Picket Complete Color Harmony by Tina Sutton from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Before I proceed with attempting to review this title, I would like to note that while I understand the digital file I was sent is not the same quality as the printing file or the purchasable ebook file, but it was an interesting choice on the publisher's part to deliver such a deliberately blurred and pixelated version of a visual resource for review. Just about every page looks like a website that's still loading on a very old computer monitor running on the slowest possible internet connection. This is an art/design resource and I am an artist attempting to review it. I'd like to SEE it. This has made me hesitant about requesting review copies of visual resources from this publisher in the future, and I am mentioning this so that other potential reviewers of visual resources from this publisher can go into it informed. I do not feel this is equivalent to critiquing grammar in a text-based ARC as at least an unedited ARC has readable text, thus I do feel justified in mentioning this. 

This book spends slightly under 20 pages teaching about colour theory followed by over 100 pages of palettes, single colour mood writeups, and finally a CMYK mixing chart for every colour and shade covered in the book. Between the fact that the book puts so much emphasis on CMYK and some things said and not said about warm and cool colours, I get the impression that this book is specifically for digital artists and broad category designers, not traditional media fine artists. There's nothing wrong with that, but the title also doesn't indicate this. 

While the colour theory sections are well written and informative, some of it clashes with what I've learned from my fellow watercolour artists over the years. This book defines "hot" as fully saturated red, "warm" as colours composed of red and yellow, "cold" as fully saturated blue, and "cool" as colours composed of blue and yellow. It implies thus that yellow is neutral, and in this section, it does very little to discuss purple. The reason all of this clashes for me as a watercolour artist is that we are usually taught that there are warm and cool tones for all three primaries (for example, ultramarine is a warm blue and phthalo blue is a cool blue) and that the way to get the secondaries you want rather than brown or grey mud is to ensure that you're blending either both warm or both cool shades. Green and orange are more forgiving, but this is vitally true for purple. This is not a fact that is touched on in this book, and again I believe that's because it is clearly written with the CMYK primaries system in mind. In CMYK the yellow (Y) truly is quite neutral, cyan (C) is a cool colour, and magenta (M) is warm. True reds are obtained by combining equal parts magenta and yellow, allowing only for warm (or hot) reds.. Only cool purples can be obtained and what looks like warmer light and pale purples are actually desaturations of the pure magenta. Again, that doesn't mean the information in this book is wrong, it just means this wasn't produced for fine artists who use traditional mediums. 

All of the colour-mood writeups are interesting to read, and the various example colour schemes make me want to utilize this book for limited colour palette challenges on YouTube and have my viewers tell me which page number to grab a palette off of. With that said, as an artist who is always online, none of these example palettes were new concepts to me. These look like the randomized palettes you can cycle through on ColorSchemer or Color Scheme Designer. It would, once again, be most useful to a designer on the go. Particularly one who is showing reference materials to clients who may not be as open to online tools. 

I'm rating this 3 stars because I do not feel it will be particularly useful to non-digital artists (despite the general term "artists" in the subtitle), nor would I encourage "educators" to blindly purchase or require this book unless they are focussing more on digital/print media or broader fields of design work. I went into this as a traditional media fine artist and was disappointed to find this book offers little useful information that my physical colour wheel tool doesn't, and some information actually clashes with what I know to be true mixing paint. This is strictly focused on CMYK colour theory which doesn't translate well to certain media. Again, fine for some uses, but the subtitle implies it's good for artists.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting book in which I learnt a lot about colors! 
I'm fascinated by their significance, their "stories", the way we can/should/do use them, what they do to the brain, and the reader does have information about all of this here!  
I loved how it was divided, the way it explained things: I'm not an expert, and I understood everything! 

It was an excellent idea to illustrate it: a book about colors without any colors inside would have been sad! 

I'd really like to have it on my shelves to dive back into it when I need an information about, say, purple! So, it was a great introduction to colors, how they work (or not!) together, how we can "use" them, what they do to us!
Was this review helpful?
An in depth look at color, this book is beautiful on every page. If you are a designer, artist, educator, or just someone who loves color, you will want to put this book on display. It is gorgeous and inspiring!
Was this review helpful?
This felt half done and limited. There are much better resources available on color theory and harmony out there.
Was this review helpful?
Whew. That's a lot of color - and there are a lot of combinations 1500 - in this book, along with photos and examples of how to use the palettes. You'll find ideas you recognize and many you have never thought of.

Can be used as a reference manual, an inspiration, or a guide to thinking about colors and combinations in new ways. Recommended for designers, artists, and the curious.
Was this review helpful?
This is an excellent color reference for artists, or really anyone who just wants to know what colors look good together. The reference work also gives the reader sets of color combinations that project certain emotions and feelings. It’s an easy, ready-made guide usable by anyone and that makes it cool! The pocket size makes it an accessible and convenient way to always know what color combinations you need in a given situation. All in all, a nice work!
Was this review helpful?
I love the section that presents 48 swatches of colour combinations for each of the moods or styles like powerful, rich, friendly, fresh, calm, magical and 20 others! (The combinations are categorized as complementary, primary, monochromatic, split complementary, analogous, neutral, clash or split)

As an art journaler, I am still learning how to combine harmonious colours that are beautiful expressions of emotions or styles.

Overall, a very helpful, informative and gorgeous reference book on colours.

I am looking forward to adding this book to my collection of art books! 

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, I love this color harmony book! As an artist and art teacher, I have purchased and read many books on color and color theory over the years. But this one really stands out from the rest I have used before, with its gorgeous color palettes and images! I am looking forward to purchasing this pocket guide (I reviewed a digital copy) and using it while I plan and create my own artworks & in teaching. 
The book breaks down the basics of color theory and color harmony in a simple, visually engaging way! The text layout and information shared complements the images used so well. It's a pleasing book to look at and learn from! In addition to including an intro to color and how to use it, you also learn about warm/cool colors and color meanings & associations. There are countless color scheme examples for any mood you want to express, and I loved looking through them all to get some fresh ideas to try. There is a process color conversion chart at the end of the book as well.
Was this review helpful?
It was hard to even read this book for review, as the publisher seems to have deliberately made the images very blurry and sometimes faded. I'm assuming this is an attempt to keep people from making pirate copies, but a simple watermark would do a much better job. The images are not just terrible resolution, but they seem to have been deliberately made blurrier with the equivalent of digital masking tape over 1/3 of every color swatch and many photos. If you're reading a very visual book, it's incredibly unpleasant and difficult to read it when people purposely do something like this to it.

Even using my imagination to pretend I read some sort of clean copy, it wasn't a very successful book for me. It goes over very basic color theory and the sort of "what this color does for people" kind of things, and then shows lots of rows of colors matched with complementary and opposite colors. One of the sections for each color is a whole lot of "clashing colors," and I'm not sure why you'd need that. It made the page just a bunch of squares, many of them ugly. And of course, faded and fuzzy if you're reading a review copy.

The end has lots more squares with numbers, showing how to mix that hue. None of them were particularly attractive to me or seemed new. I was hoping to get some color inspiration for a new color scheme for my kitchen, dining room and living room (an open area) and this book was not at all helpful for that. It might be helpful for others.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was just okay. It has short descriptions of each color, then tonal variations of the color using small swatches, then combinations of colors with small swatches. There are a few larger pictures demonstrating color combinations. These contain captions describing the effect of the combinations (e.g. rich, calming, etc.). 

Disappointingly, most of the book is various combinations of small rectangular color swatches.  Not very exciting.
Was this review helpful?