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Book review on "Using Colour to Influence Decision-Making."
This book provides a valuable introduction to the science of colour and its uses in both the home and workplace. The book not only provides a solid and thorough foundation in the aesthetic and practical basics of colour, but also gives insights into the influential use of colour in many different environments. Unfortunately the text has few illustrations to break up the text, also the book repeatedly uses same examples which are referred to throughout the book. There is also an explanation of colour harmony and a discussion of the complexities of colour management and it's effects on human behaviour.
Chapter one of this book is focuses on how colour has influence over an environment and those within it, examples range from the homes to airports. The findings of this book when dealing with specific examples are in many cases obvious, for example we all are aware that red is a hot stimulating colour and should not be used in tranquil environments. When the book is considered as a whole the true value of the book and its' importance is realised, the findings provide a comprehensive foundation into the mechanics and applications of colour. The most interesting and important findings of the book are highlighted in chapter two in which the author focuses on the psychological effect that colour can produce. Whether the reader is a designer, architect, or a manager trying to increase productivity, the practical application of colour will prove to be an essential factor and could prove costly if overlooked.
Topics covered in this book such as "Turning Colour to Music," and "Colour as Insect Repellent," although interesting, have little relevance and seem isolated topics when considering the main areas highlighted by the book. In some cases the information and its findings lack a solid conclusion, there are, at times a list of statements and a catalogue of findings from previous research. This style of presentation, layout and content proves to be an efficient and informative, but it fails to keep the reader interested, there is no narrative to the compilation of results and this is the books' greatest weakness.
The commercial application of colour and effects on retail environments are the focus of study in chapter three, the findings are targeted towards what colours sell best as well as what colours will create a more favourable environment for both customers and staff. This chapter proves to be an extremely valuable resource for anyone who has to make decisions over colour within a commercial environment.
The "Complete Colour Reference Section," provides an insight into colours and their associated characteristics, more importantly this section informs the reader in how to harmonise colour. Few environments are monochrome; there will always be combination of several colours. It is important to maintain the right balance and harmonies between the colours to produce the desired effect; this area of study provides a very valuable resource.
This book does not produce any radical theories on colour, this is not its' aim, however it achieves its' aim in compiling years of research into a condensed form making this valuable information more readable and accessible to a wider audience.