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ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color

– tekijä: Jude Stewart

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
733292,277 (3.22)1
Color is all around us every day. We use it to interpret the world-red means stop, blue means water, orange means construction. But it is also written into our metaphors, of speech and thought alike: yellow means cowardice; green means envy-unless you're in Germany, where yellow means envy, and you can be "beat up green and yellow." Jude Stewart, a design expert and writer, digs into this rich subject with gusto. What color is the universe?We might say it's black, but astrophysicists think it might be turquoise. Unless it's beige. To read about color from Jude Stewart is to unlock a whole different way of looking at the world around us-and bringing it all vividly to life. The book itself is organized around the rainbow and is lavishly designed, with cross-references that liven up each page. (Follow the thread of imperialism, for example, from the pink-colored colonies on maps of the British Empire to the green wallpaper that might have killed Napoleon.) A lovingly packaged, distinctive book, it will be the only one of its kind. ROY G. BIV is a reference and inspiration for designers and artists, as well as a unique, beautiful, and irresistible book for just about anyone.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 3/3
I was disappointed with the book. Though the content are not exactly uninteresting (such as the association of Grey with hope after the invention of printing), Stewart utterly fails to cover a number of the most classical associations, such as green with, appropriately enough, hope. However, the organization of the book is exceedingly frustrating. The idea of color underlining cross-references is cute, but the density of them, caused by the complete vacuity and irrelevance of 90% of them (not counting those that are outright not aimed at the right pages to begin with!) become tedious within a few pages. It doesn't help that the worse offenders, such as chinese green hats connected to every single references to clothes or fashion imaginable reoccur so often they become almost predictable (almost only because the connection can and will get ridiculously tenuous). ( )
  circeus | Mar 17, 2014 |
A gem of a book. Jude Stewart basically use one of culture's greatest "commons"—color—to radically re-invent the genre of the commonplace book, that volume of idiosyncratic, idiosyncratically compiled knowledge par excellence. The knowledge here is perfectly proverbial, a vast expanse of fact, anecdote, legend, myth, and wish from countless cultures and epochs. It's the kind of knowledge which, regardless of time and place, tries to pin down otherwise slippery and unknowable phenomena: how a color comes to feel "natural" to its subject, how it sutures itself to the silliest and gravest things in life; how the abstractions of light-waves come to actually mean, and mean so differently depending on when and where. Fastidiously researched, Stewart's book is a kind of meta-compilation of such knowledge, and like any author of a good commonplace book, she appears to compile, connect, and curate from a depthless, almost obsessive love of the topic.

She also clearly loves language, and the visual focus ought not conceal the fact that Stewart writes as well as she sees. Her pen is swift, salty, and often hilarious. The compact, aphoristic structure of the text, one of her most important conceits, often pressures the words into prose poems full of sensuous felicity: on one page, brown "prunes sweat in hot water"; on another, "the queen's power sweeps pinkly across the globe". For all the fine books on design and visual culture out there, very few are actually so well-written, and savor language so deftly.

Apart from the prose, probably the most striking aspect of the book is its visually driven style and structure. Stewart clearly worked closely with the fabulous graphic designer Oliver Munday to produce a fine, intensely collaborative piece of design: the book *works*, just like a well-designed lamp or chair, and is similarly thought-through down to the finest detail. The meticulously executed cross-references, filling the margins of every page, may be the most impressive device. They're also the coolest updating of the commonplace genre: the book's contents, otherwise torn from a thousand sundry sources, are being constantly knitted back together, into configurations alternately fateful and absurd. This anarchic playfulness nicely counters the book's patient tour through the rainbow. Pink bleeds into red of course, but also, through "Nantucket red" and the "crisp aggression of the office", into the "gray queens" of Wall Street eight chapters later. At any given point, Stewart explodes the obviousness of the inherited categories, and keeps color unruly.

A last point: as the hard copy becomes an ever-rarer bird, one comes infrequently upon a book which is so unabashedly, satisfyingly ... booky. "Roy G. Biv" is a beautifully crafted object, inseparable from the pleasure of feeling its weighty squareness in your hands, turning its pages, scanning the subtle shifts in hue and font and topic, flipping upon the witty, minimalist full-color spreads. At the same time, this is not one of those scene-chewing kitchen-sink picture books, desperate to cram in every stock photograph it can. Munday is a disciplined stylist here, and Stewart's equal. Both registers, word and image, thrive not on noise but on exactitude and elegance; Munday's skewed icons harmonize perfectly with Stewart's eccentric classifications. The result is a lovely device for opening, reading, and wandering. Let's hope they pair up again, and soon. ( )
  P_Spiegelman | Sep 18, 2013 |
Remarkably flat for a book on color

For someone who designs for a living, Jude Stewart surprises by publishing a book that is ironically uncolorful. It is chock full of blocky text, consisting mostly of folk tales, clichés, pop science and pop culture that mention a color. It gets tedious; there is nothing breaking it up. There are no examples, no illustrations, no photos, no swatches to show how dramatic that particular color really is – after she spends a paragraph telling us just that. What there is are descriptions in plain English, in black text, in plain block form. Plus references to other pages in the book where the same phrase is explained, underlined in a color. About the only substantial color are the two page spreads that begin each chapter – each a color, of course. They list all the anecdotes you’re about to read over a timeline. Not very useful or inspired. Occasionally there is a page dedicated to a quote, and the quote is on a color background, with maybe a simple, stock, one color image like a raindrop or a pail.

There are far better books that cover the same territory, only infinitely more innovatively. They are far more engaging, far better laid out, and much more useful than this one. The surprise here is how disappointing it is. Design is all but absent. ( )
1 ääni DavidWineberg | Aug 9, 2013 |
näyttää 3/3
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Color is all around us every day. We use it to interpret the world-red means stop, blue means water, orange means construction. But it is also written into our metaphors, of speech and thought alike: yellow means cowardice; green means envy-unless you're in Germany, where yellow means envy, and you can be "beat up green and yellow." Jude Stewart, a design expert and writer, digs into this rich subject with gusto. What color is the universe?We might say it's black, but astrophysicists think it might be turquoise. Unless it's beige. To read about color from Jude Stewart is to unlock a whole different way of looking at the world around us-and bringing it all vividly to life. The book itself is organized around the rainbow and is lavishly designed, with cross-references that liven up each page. (Follow the thread of imperialism, for example, from the pink-colored colonies on maps of the British Empire to the green wallpaper that might have killed Napoleon.) A lovingly packaged, distinctive book, it will be the only one of its kind. ROY G. BIV is a reference and inspiration for designers and artists, as well as a unique, beautiful, and irresistible book for just about anyone.

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