ROY G. BIV by Jude Stewart


An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color


In an artfully designed work, factoids and myths about color are brightly packaged in a format with eye-catching typographics.

Stewart, a freelance journalist (Slate, The Believer, etc.), adapts the hyperlink of electronic media to print, enabling readers to hop from topic to topic and page to page. She does this by underlining certain words and phrases, adding the highlighted terms to a sidebar that includes directions to another page, where there is a further discussion; at that site, another word or phrase may be highlighted, taking readers off in yet another direction. For example, the word “bloody,” highlighted on page 7, directs readers to “horseshoe crab’s miraculous blood” on page 27, and from there to "horny dinosaur-like bodies” on page 88, and then to “feathers” on page 36, and so on. Headings are bold and paragraphs are short, breaking the text into bite-sized segments. Large-type, single-page quotes about color and even larger-type, double-page graphics linking a color to concepts, emotions and phenomena open most chapters, indicating that the book’s designer played a major role in developing the product. The author, whose research into the associations and meanings of color is extensive, has used some of her material before. The intriguing tidbits about color may induce readers to explore further, and to that end, the selected bibliography has books on pigments and dyes, color theory, the science of color, the meanings of color and art history. The book is light on science but full of mostly interesting trivia and answers to such questions as why pencils are yellow, why stoplights are red and why there is no brown in the rainbow.

Occasionally entertaining yet gimmicky book aimed at those with short attention spans.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60819-613-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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