Naomi Kumo, Form, Inc. 2014,ISBN 978-4-86505-141-4
This Japanese book on color is a bit old but it’s amazingly useful. It’s one of many color books designed for graphic designers that pulls together color combinations that can then be used for ads, logo, packaging, or other projects. For us, as stitchers, they are also useful because they are the start of potential color schemes.
To do this find a scheme you like. Pick out colors from that scheme and find threads to match. Then stitch away.
Kumo’s book has more information than most packed into its pages. Each one of the 125 color scheme has two pages devoted to it. On the left page is an inspiration photo for the color scheme along with the name, a brief description, and some keywords. Under these are the colors in the scheme shown both in squares and in dots. There are eight colors in each scheme.
Next to the dots you’ll find descriptions of each color often referring to items that are this color. If you are a stitcher you can use these descriptions to find colors with a similar look.
Under the swatches are numeric values for CYMK and RGB. These values are standardized ways to describe color. There are tools that match RGB numbers to the DMC flosses. Once you know the matching floss color, you can “talk DMC” to your shop to find a matching color in another thread.
The right page has four rows of examples with 2, 3, 4, or 5 colors in each. They give an idea of how some of the colors in the scheme would work together. There is plenty of variety here, so you’ll be able to find combinations and proportions that work. The two- and five-color examples are always stories, The four-color combination is always nesting squares. The three-color combinations are the most creative. For each palette these schemes take a cue from the palette’s name. For example, the palette Bouncy Balls has samples with many dots.
Unlike some other collections of palettes, this book categorizes the color schemes into nine categories. They are not based on the traditional ways of thinking about color because the eight-shade schemes are too big for that. Instead, they group colors into groups based on the feelings they might evoke. With categories such as “Stylish Ease and Sophistication” and “Exotic and Robust Impressions,” you can go to the schemes that fit the mood you want to evoke.
The book ends with a helpful section on basic color theory and arrangement. It closes with a color index showing all 100+. colors in small swatches with the page number where that color can be found. This would allow you to make up your own schemes.
I love how helpful a book like this can be.