July 10, 2018


These Colors Are Bananas by Tamara Shopsin and Jason Fulford is one of the most innovative color concept books I think I've ever seen, and I'm obsessed with it.

This book is such a clever way to introduce color concepts to the point where I'm mad at myself for not coming up with it first! Each spread features a statement about an "object," like grass, clouds, ice cubes, and dogs, on one side of the book and a series of twenty-five color swatches on the other that support the statement. So we read a statement like, "Grass is not always green," and then we see just how many different colors grass can be! It's just too darn clever. The final spread is probably the smartest one of them all, inviting readers to become a part of the book they're reading with the statement, "Your hand is a color, too." We have the normal twenty-five color swatches on the right, except this time one of the squares is cut out so that readers can find their own skin tones amidst the twenty-four that are already included. If this wasn't already the most inclusive book on shelves, that certainly helps it make the cut. And we cannot forget the medium used for the actual boxes: the screenprints are like colorful little jewels, with imperfections like white spots (which come naturally with a lot of printmaking) and uneven boxes that add to the playfulness of the concept. One of my favorite color concept books of all time, to be sure! 

These Colors Are Bananas published in May 2018, and you should be sure to check out the loose companion book Find Colors, which is also a hoot and published in June 2018! Both books are from Phaidon Press.

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