3 Great Books On Color Psychology

Looking for great reading on color psychology?

Start with these three very different books.


The Color Box

Lori Reid

A simple approachable survey that’s lushly illustrated.

The Art of Color

Johannes Itten

The expanded version of a true classic The Elements Of Color includes personal exercises and analyses of historic paintings.


Color and Human Response

Faber Birren

A comprehensive overview of all areas of the field by the most prolific author on color.

Read more on Color Psychology here.

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The Elements of Color – Color Equilibrium

Josef Albers’s Theory and Interaction of Colors is considered the definitive classic on color theory from a painter’s perspective. I actually prefer his colleague Johannes Itten’s The Elements of Color. Itten’s language is exceptionally clear. How important is language? Very! Itten does something brilliant. He avoids the whole mess of discussing color ‘harmony’, which is subjective (influenced by culture, region, individual, and time), and describes color relationships in terms of ‘equilibrium’. Complementary colors produce equilibrium; red and cyan mix to produce gray. ‘Color balance’ is produced by an equal mix of the two colors. An ideal color structure is produced by an equal mix of all colors. Equilibrium produced a perfect balance. There’s lots more where that came from. I highly recommend the book.
Find this and other books on color here.
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Learn more about color in my workshop The Power of Color.