Thursday, 4:13pm
28 June 2012

Thermal imaging [extract]

Kelvin: Colour Today

Die Gestalten Verlag, &pound;35, Euros 50<br>

This big book is a simple idea rendered in eleven colour-coded chapters that gather together monochromatic examples of work with striking results. As a collection of new work across many varied fields of design, it cannot be faulted. The weakness of the book is not in the work, the colour or the layout, it lies solely in the text. The title is as confusing as the reasoning behind its arrangement of the work it contains. ‘Kelvin is the temperature of colour,’ declare the editors (Robert Klanten, Boris Brumnjak and Sven Ehmann).

Right. The metaphor is weak at best and the book struggles to rationalise this rather grandiose classification when it would be better entitled ‘Collections of Designs Grouped by Colour’. Each chapter has a brief colour theory round-up by a different designer, but it is unlikely to challenge your preconceptions of colour, or inspire new thinking about colour. Nor is it a book of in-depth colour semiotics. This is a book of pictures: big, bold, rich, colourful ones. And if you can bypass its more grandiose claims and concentrate on the simpler promise ‘to highlight groundbreaking and exciting developments in the contemporary handling of colour’, then you won’t be disappointed.