The Secret Language of Color


Indie Bookstores

Oregon Public Radio

A thorough investigation of the chemical, physical and social characteristics of color. Just as you might expect a book about color to look, it is replete with splash pages of arresting images and diagrams using bold and vibrant colors to demonstrate different properties, as well as characteristics of how and why we see color. The book also addresses some of the more common questions and misconceptions we have...The book is full of facts and explanations that help us better understand the human relationship to color and its effect on the way we organize our world.

Publisher's Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Where does the phrase "blue blood" come from? Why do most doctors wear green scrubs? These and other questions are answered in the Eckstut's fascinating study of color. After throwing readers into the deep end with scientific explanations about how our brains process information and declarations like "wavelengths of light do not exist as color until we see them," the authors move on to more accessible and lively examinations of colors and the roles they've played in history as well as evolution. Each hue gets a biography of sorts, as the authors examine its cultural (the Egyptians placed a high value on blue and it was one of the first synthetic pigments) and in some cases biological significance (different colors attract different animals). The science behind rainbows and why they never appear the same way to two people; why the grass is always greener across the street (you're not seeing the imperfections); and a litany of other color-related trivia round out the book. The book's dynamic design and short entries make it easy to skim, but it's likely that those intending just a casual perusal will find themselves engrossed by this terrifically entertaining and informative volume.


The evanescent phenomenon of colour has gripped great minds from Plato to Isaac Newton, all the way through to researchers who now probe the links between blue light and circadian rhythms. In this many-hued tome, Joann and Arielle Eckstut zip through optics and electromagnetism. They then explore colour in art, such as the pointillist work of George-Pierre Seurat, and in nature, from minerals to nebulae. Fact-filled and flamboyantly illustrated.

Marin Independent Journal

[The Secret Language of Color] can help artists and designers correct their perceptions of color, scientists connect some new dots and the casual color-loving reader better understand his or her attraction.

Guest Hollow

What a stunning visual feast! The Secret Language of Color is an ambitious book that covers a variety of topics having to with colors including chemistry, nature, history, culture, art, people and more...This is a BEAUTIFUL book and even the youngest reader would enjoy gaping at the pages, even if the text is beyond his abilities, while older students and adults will enjoy learning all sorts of color related trivia...It's a book that's meant to be browsed and every page screams, "Look at me!". Highly recommended for all ages, especially middle schoolers through adults.

The Online Eccentric Librarian

This is, without question, one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of color. Arielle Eckstut has created a content-rich book written in a friendly and conversational manner that makes so many of the very nebulous color concepts and theories readily understandable – even fascinating. Every chapter is wonderfully illustrated – with photos, images, graphs – and beautifully laid out as well...This book is perfectly suited for the layman – no art or chemist background needed. For painters, graphic designers, photographers, etc....there is just so much information and yet it is easy to read and follow. I read the entire book cover to cover in under 3 hours and never once felt like I was reading a dry textbook. Yet it doesn't gloss over the important concepts in favor of pretty pictures, either. You do learn (and quite a bit) not only the technical side of color theory but also wonderful factoids of history as well.I can easily say this is one of the best books I've read this year. Informative, fun, interesting, conversational, fascinating, useful, and, yes, eye candy of color. Highly, highly, recommended.

Caroline Leavittville

The Secret Language of Color is both dazzling and profound. It does what the best books do–it makes you see the world differently by examining and exploring the way we react and relate to color and why and how it's so important.

Daily Kos

While The Secret Language of Color at first glance appears to be an art book, it is so much more. Not only does this book mesmerize the reader with spellbinding rainbow hues page after page; it also informs with historical, scientific and even social/political insight into the way nature (and humans) paint the world. Mother-daughter team Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut set out to publish a book to help wed the art and science of color and came up with a masterpiece.