Books on color theory. Best 10 Books on Color Theory in 2022

Color theory is a complex and fascinating topic, but it can be difficult to learn without the help of an expert.

Trying to learn about color theory on your own can be frustrating and confusing. You might not know where to start, or you might get lost in all the technical jargon.

These books on color theory will make learning about color easy and fun. With step-by-step instructions and plenty of examples, you’ll be able to understand color theory in no time.

What is Color Theory?

The study of color theory is the study of pretty much every aspect of color, and especially how color and colors relate to the work of artists, illustrators, animators, designers, crafters and the like.

An in-depth and comprehensive treatment of color theory will cover this and much more to the point that you’ll be able to use colors in your art or crafts with greater freedom while still being able to get the most out of them; you’ll understand what you’re doing so that you can improve the quality of your work.

What’s the Purpose of Learning Color Theory?

My main point here is that anybody and everyone can benefit from a solid, thorough education in color theory. Even if you didn’t go to art school, you can still give yourself that right education.

In addition to improving our work on many levels and giving us the ability to work more easily, learning the fundamentals of color theory helps us to operate in a lot more fluid state of mind when we’re in the midst of our creative processes.

Even if an artist already has a strong natural or innate understanding of color and uses it effectively in their work, the study of color theory can provide them with a wealth of new insights, options, and perspectives, all of which can lead to greater self-awareness, increased creativity, and improved results in their work.

The study of color theory, even for those who have already learned it, is always beneficial, whether it’s to keep up with the latest developments in the field, such as color theory in relation to computer graphics or technology in general, or simply to refresh and reinvigorate one’s relationship with and use of color.

The study of color theory may truly change your life if you’ve always been uncertain or reluctant about your use of color, and it can still make a huge impact if you’re already comfortable and/or knowledgeable about it. As a result, your job will be better, and your self-confidence will rise.

Methods for Studying Color Theory

There are many excellent books on color theory out there, but I would be negligent not to suggest online courses as an alternative.

Color theory is one of my favorite subjects to teach since I have both a good natural sense for color and a solid grasp of the principles of color theory. Aside from that, I really like the process of instructing, which I believe enhances the learning experience for my students.

It goes without saying that there are many excellent instructors out there, but if you’d like to check out some of my own classes on color theory and application, the links below will lead you in the right direction:

Overview: Best Books on Color Theory in 2022

1. Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition

Lauded as one of the most important books on color ever written, canonical artist Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is an essential volume. A full course in book form, this text demands a high level of engagement and investment. Albers stays laser-focused on his material and includes a set of exercises for the readers to complete as they make their way through the text.

2. Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors

This volume by Betty Edwards serves as a fine introduction to color and color theory. A great choice for beginners and recreational artists, it covers all the information that would be presented in an advanced high school art class or introductory college course. The book is written in clear and intelligent language and includes a variety of exercises so the reader can gain hands-on learning experience.

r Theory: An essential guide to color-from basic principles to practical applications

In this guide, author Patti Mollica covers all the basics, from pigment properties to color-mixing psychology. This book is less esoteric than practical, with specialty topics like how to create lively black hues and realistic flesh tones. Concise and clear, this edition is great for those who want to acquire a basic understanding of color theory without getting lost in the weeds.

4. The Secret Lives of Color

More anecdotal than instructional, The Secret Lives of Color delves into the history of 75 shades. Learn about the white that protected people against the plague and the brown that altered on-field battle. A history of science as well as art, this compendium by Kassia St. Clair will enrich your understanding and appreciation of color.

5. A Dictionary Of Color Combinations

Sanzo Wada, the author of the six-volume work on which this book is based, was an artist, teacher, and costume designer who was well ahead of his time. He published his original volumes in the 1930s, and his color combinations helped lay the foundation for contemporary color research. This diminutive book includes 348 color combinations that are beautifully designed and printed. Flip through its pages for ideas to use in your work.

F.A.Q: Books on color theory


While there are many different color theory books on the market, we’ve found these three to be particularly helpful when it comes to understanding how colors impact people and businesses. Whether you’re looking to improve your own personal branding or want to start incorporating color into your business’s marketing strategy, one of these books is sure to help. Have you read any of these books on color theory? What did you think?

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