An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Colour

‘Colour’ says writer Jude Stewart, ‘is so ubiquitous, its invisible; – until suddenly; it’s not’.

Roy G. Biv cover
Roy G. Biv cover

Looking to make colour and how it shapes the world even less invisible, Stewarts new book Roy G. Biv (geddit?) looks to uncover the mysteries surrounding colour and its usage.

I fell off my pink cloud with a thud
I fell off my pink cloud with a thud

Drawing on the wisdom of designers, artists, historians, scientists and a raft of other colour enthusiasts, the book certainly reveals some interesting facts – if in a rather scattergun approach.

From the pink diagram
From the pink diagram

For instance, we learn that the reason most brides wear white is apparently thanks to Queen Victoria, who popularised the fashion after her 1840 wedding to Prince Albert, when she sported white Honiton lace.

We also learn, by way of a quote, that The Birds director Alfred Hitchcock was ‘frightened of eggs’, and had ‘never tasted’ their ‘yellow, revolting’ yolk.

Eggs
Eggs

Essentially, the book is a collection of stories about colour; seemingly unconnected, yet undoubtedly interesting spatters drawn together simply because they relate to the huge, amorphous world of colour.

Pink is the Navy Blue of India
Pink is the Navy Blue of India

The book itself is colourful, teeming with illustrations that the author says, are ‘intentionally abstract: colour in its purest form.’

Saffron gates
Saffron gates

It’s also peppered with some lovely quotes (albeit alongside some gift shop fridge magnet-type ones), such as artist Henri Matisse’s assertion that ‘a thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful’.

Oranges
Oranges

Roy G. Biv: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Colour by Jude Stewart is published on 21 November by Bloomsbury priced £14.99

From the yellow diagram
From the yellow diagram

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