www.colour follows www.type in the Design Directories series aimed at the would-be professional, student and serious amateur web designer. This book won’t teach you how to use your software (Mac Photoshop is the default) but any web-browsing session will confirm the value of the volume–an ugly, hard-to-read website is an unsuccessful website.
A graphic designer who has worked on-screen since 1982, Roger Pring inspires design confidence immediately because his book is so aesthetically pleasing, sporting production values associated with considerably more expensive publications. Beginning with an explanation of how the brain perceives colour, Pring gives us a whistle-stop tour of how monitors display colour, and a swift outline of some of the problems of ensuring colour fidelity between Macs, PCs and print. If you do struggle with some of the concepts there are copious illustrations and the author’s line in gentle humour makes it all the more palatable. There is also material on the psychological associations of colour, as well as on file formats and compression.
There isn’t a great deal of depth, but that is not the purpose of this book. Essentially it is a showcase offering examples of good design from 300 outstanding web-sites. Pring teaches by example, offering brief but insightful comments on why these web pages are so effective, an approach intended to make you rethink and clarify your own colour strategies.
A coffee-table book perhaps, but if the ideas provide inspiration for just one successful new site then it is most worthwhile. —Gary S. Dalkin