"Why That Color?" course for the UP.GRADE program
of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB)


Data visualization of all "Why That Color?" exercises (2015-2018) >>>



Althusser, Louis, On The Reproduction Of Capitalism: Ideology And Ideological State Apparatuses, London and New York: Verso, 2014.
Bourdieu, Pierre, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Caivano, José Luis, Color and Semiotics: A Two-way Street, Color: research and application, Volume 23, Number 6, December 1998.
Eagleton, Terry, Culture, New Haven, CT: Yale, 2016.
Eagleton, Terry, Ideology: An Introduction, London and New York: Verso, 2007.


Berlin, Brent and Paul Kay, Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution, Stanford: CSLI, 1999.
Deutscher, Guy, Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010.
Sloane, Patricia, The Visual Nature of Color, New York: Design Press, 1989.


Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities, London and New York: Verso, 2006.
Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York: Routledge, 2010.
Eaverly, Mary Ann, Tan Men/Pale Women: Color and Gender in Archaic Greece and Egypt, a Comparative Approach, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.
Haider, Asad, Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump, New York: Verso, 2018.
Jablonski, Nina G., Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2012.
Norwood, Kimberly Jade, ed., Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Post-racial America, New York: Routledge, 2013.
Paoletti, Jo B., Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press 2012.
Znamierowski, Alfred, The World Encyclopedia Of Flags: The Definitive Guide To International Flags, Banners, Standards And Ensigns, London: Lorenz Books, 2016.


Ball, Philip, Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Baty, Patrick, The Anatomy of Color: The Story of Heritage Paints & Pigments, New York: Thames & Hudson, 2017.
Feeser, Andrea, Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin, ed.,The Materiality of Color: The Production, Circulation, and Application of Dyes and Pigments, 1400–1800, Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.
Finlay, Victoria, Color: A Natural History of the Palette, New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2002.
Finlay, Victoria, The Brilliant History of Color in Art, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014.
Garfield, Simon, Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.
Kalba, Laura Anne, Color in the Age of Impressionism: Commerce, Technology, and Art, Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017.
Lee Blaszczyk, Regina, The Color Revolution, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012.
Lee Blaszczyk, Regina and Ben Wubs ed., The Fashion Forecasters: A Hidden History of Color and Trend Prediction, London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2018.
Lee Blaszczyk, Regina and Uwe Spiekermann ed., Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Scully, Kate and Debra Johnston Cobb, Color Forecasting for Fashion, London: Laurence King, 2012.
St. Clair, Kassia, The Secret Lives of Color, New York: Penguin, 2017.


Albers, Josef, Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition, New Haven: Yale University, 2013.
Birren, Faber, Principles of Color: Review of Past Traditions and Modern Theories of Color Harmony, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1969.
Chevreul, M. E. and Faber Birren, The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts, New York: Reinhold, 1967
Chirimuuta, Mazviita, Outside Color: Perceptual Science and the Puzzle of Color in Philosophy, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015.
Cohen, Jonathan, The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Hardin, C. L., Color for Philosophers: Unweaving the Rainbow Expanded Edition, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing, 1988.
Itten, Johannes, The Elements of Color A Treatise on the Color System of Johannes Itten Based on His Book the Art of Color, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970.
Kuehni, Rolf G., Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
Kuehni, Rolf G., Color: Essence and Logic, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983.
Kuehni, Rolf G., Color Ordered: A Survey of Color Systems from Antiquity to the Present, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Kuehni, Rolf G., Color Space and Its Divisions: Color Order from Antiquity to the Present, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Maerz, A. and M. Rea Paul, A Dictionary of Color, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1930.
Munsell, A. H., A Color Notation, Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, 1907.
Ridgway, Robert, Color Standards And Color Nomenclature, Washington DC: Ridgway, 1912.
Silvestrini, Narciso, Ernst Peter Fischer, Urs Baumann and Klaus Stromer, trans. Randy Cassada, Color Systems in Art and Science, Golden Artist Colors, 1999.
Sloane, Patricia, ed., Primary Sources: Selected Writings on Color from Aristotle to Albers. New York: Design Press, 1991.
Syme, Patrick, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Anatomy, and the Arts, Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1821.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Remarks on Colour, trans. Linda L. McAlister and Margarete Schättle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.


Crane, Diana, Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, And Identity In Clothing: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Gage, John, Color and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Lurie, Alison, The Language of Clothes, New York: Owl Books, 2000.
Pleij, Herman, trans. Diane Webb, Colors Demonic and Divine: Shades of Meaning in the Middle Ages and After, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
Varichon, Anne, Colors: What They Mean and How to Make Them, New York: Abrams, 2007.

Individual colors

Doran, Sabine, The Culture of Yellow: Or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.
Mavor, Carol, Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour, London: Reaktion, 2013.
Pastoureau, Michel, Black: The History of a Color, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
Pastoureau, Michel, Blue: The History of a Color, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
Pastoureau, Michel, Green: The History of a Color, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
Pastoureau, Michel, Red: The History of a Color, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
Theroux, Alexander, The Primary Colors: Three Essays, New York: Henry Holt, 1996.
Theroux, Alexander, The Secondary Colors: Three Essays, New York: Henry Holt, 1997.


Alison, Jane, ed., Colour After Klein: Rethinking Colour in Modern And Contemporary Art, London: Black Dog, 2005.
Batchelor, David, ed., Colour (Documents of Contemporary Art), London: Whitechapel Gallery and Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008.
Bucklow, Spike, The Alchemy of Paint: Art, Science and Secrets from the Middle Ages, London: Marion Boyars, 2009.
Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn et al., Colori: Emotions of Color in Art, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2017.
Gage, John, Color and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Gage, John, Color in Art, London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.
Gavel, Jonas, Colour: A Study of Its Position in the Art Theory of the Quattro- and Cinquecento, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1979.
Gerstner, Karl, Spirit of Colors: The Art of Karl Gerstner, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981.
Gerstner, Karl, The Forms of Color: The Interaction of Visual Elements, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986.
Guerin, Frances, The Truth Is Always Grey: A History of Modernist Painting, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.
Kandinsky, Wassily, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, New York: Dover, 1977.
Paul, Stella, Chromaphilia: The Story of Color in Art, London / New York: Phaidon, 2017.
Temkin, Ann,‎ Briony Fer,‎ Melissa Ho and‎ Nora Lawrence, Color Chart: Reinventing Color: 1950 to Today, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008.


Bellantoni, Patti, If It's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die: The Power of Color in Visual Storytelling, Burlington, MA: Focal Press, 2005.
Brinckmann, Christine, Color and Empathy: Essays on Two Aspects of Film, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015.
Higgins, Scott, Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930s, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007.
Kane, Carolyn L., Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2014.
Misek, Richard, Chromatic Cinema: A History of Screen Color, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Yumibe, Joshua, Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism (Techniques of the Moving Image), New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012.


Fortner, Brand and Theodore E. Meyer, Number by Colors: A Guide to Using Color to Understand Technical Data, New York: Springer, 1997.
Katz, David, The World Of Colour, London: Routledge, 1999.
Lamb, Trevor and Janine Bourriau ed., Colour: Art and Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Livingstone, Margaret, Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002.
Luo, Ronnier, ed., Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology, New York: Springer-Verlag, 2016.


Batchelor, David, Chromophobia, London: Reaktion Books, 2011.
Berger, John and John Christie, I Send You This Cadmium Red: A Correspondence between John Berger and John Christie, Barcelona: Actar, 2000.
Birren, Faber, Color: A Survey In Words and Pictures, New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1963.
Eckstut, Joann and Arielle Eckstut, Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet, New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 2013.
Graham, F. Lanier, The Rainbow Book, Berkeley: Shambhala, 1975.
Jarman, Derek, Chroma, Woodstock NY: The Overlook Press, 1995.
Kastan, David Scott and Stephen Farthing, On Color, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.
Pastoureau, Michel, trans. Janet lloyd, The Colours of Our Memories, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012.
Riley II, Charles A., Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music, and Psychology. Lebanon: University Press of New England, 1995.
Sloane, Patricia, The Visual Nature of Color, New York: Design Press, 1989.
Stewart, Jude, ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color, New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Swirnoff, Lois, Dimensional Color, Boston: Birkhäuser, 1989.
Taussig, Michael, What Color Is the Sacred?, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2009.
Varley, Helen, Colour, Los Angeles: The Knapp Press, 1980.
Zollinger, Heinrich, Color: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Zürich: Helvetica Chimica Acta, 1999.

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