The Designers Guide... By no means would I consider myself an expert in anything and I will gladly acknowledge that fact. I would like to point out however that there are many different ways to fake it! When it comes to understanding what color combinations naturally work together I have this great book that helps me “fake it” every time.

There are plenty of digital resources available today that help designers find that unique color combination for a variety of projects.  Adobe Kuler (available online or as a standalone application) and COLOURlovers Desktop Color Finder (more about this awesome tool in a later post) are probably the two I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun new toy! As fun as those applications are, they can leave a little to be desired in my opinion, leaving a little gap that can only be filled by flipping through pages and pages of beautiful color combinations.

The Designer’s Guide to Color Combinations – 500+ Historic and Modern Color Formulas in CMYK by Leslie Cabarga is the perfect book to fill that void.

Our mental selection process involves millions of gigabytes (in computer terms) worth of conscious and subconscious dreams, emotional memories and other associations of color. We may look at an ad in a magazine and say, “That looks cool!” but our true affinity with the colors we’re viewing goes deeper.

Victorian ExampleThere are nine different chapters in the book, not including the “How to Use This Book” chapter, each organized by time period and/or genre .  From Victorian Color all the way to Rave Color, and my favorite… Bad Color!  The time period combinations include examples from that particular time period as well as a brief history of that design piece giving you a little brain food to go along with your creative spark.

This book is a great read for the startup freelancer, the professional designer or anyone interested in color.