Croma: Color’s impact in a Visually Intense Volume

Croma by Michel Pastoureau

One of my favorite parts about being a designer is working with color. I am fascinated by those who predict color trends, and am always on the lookout for color themes on the street and in homes. Color systems, like Feng Shui and the Chakras, seem worth believing. Though I try not to favor one color over the next — each has its own right usage — I certainly tend towards certain palettes in my environment and personal expression.
I was immediately struck by a book review in the weekly magazine of il Corriere della Sera, Io Donna. Each page of the eight-page excerpt of Michel Pastoureu‘s stunning tome was a color immersion. This scholar of color has dedicated whole books to colors. In this recent work, wordlessly, he provides 343 images depicting man against the “secret language” of color. Each photograph tells a story of color and human emotion. Even experiencing these photographs on the thin newsprint paper of the weekly periodical, the visceral impact of these color immersions continue to resonate.
Each page is a meditation, each chapter of color (red, green, black, yellow, blue and white) a kind of performance.
The book is only available in Italy and France, but its language is universal.


Croma by Michel Pastoureu. Feltrinelli 2011.
Tony & Tina’s Color Energy book, a personal favorite. Too bad their chakra-inspired cosmetic line seems to have lapsed.
Disegno vs. Colore (Line vs. Color) in Italian art