Yesterday I received my most recent colour related purchase through the post, courtesy of Amazon. I am now the proud owner of weighty Pantone, The 20th Century in Color by Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker. I was waiting for The Color Revolution by Regina Lee Blaszczyk to be released but I’ve had an Amazon voucher burning a hole in my pocket for a while now and well, the cover of the Pantone book was so appealing I caved. The book is similar in principle to one I used as background research during my MA project, Then Is Now: Sampling from the Past for Today’s Graphics by Cheryl Cullen. However, where Then is Now featured historical colour palettes (also based on Pantone and featuring input from Leatrice Eiseman) in combination with other graphical elements such as typefaces, in The 20th Century in Color, colour takes the centre stage. It’s a bit of a coffee table book, although it would put my aesthetically challenged coffee table to shame and has a five star review on Amazon. I’ve not looked at it in enough depth yet to endorse that rating but on first impressions the book seems much more comprehensive than Then is now. It is a heftier book allowing it to dedicate each chapter solely to the colours of that decade and therefore goes into much more detail about the different cultural influences on the colour palettes of the time. It should prove to be a useful reference for understanding how colour trends develop and how colour fits in with other aspects of art and design as the century progresses. Being published in 2011 also allows for a adequate time lapse between now and the final decade of the 20th century for there to be a more substantial overview of colour trends in the 1990s. It’s only a shame that there isn’t anything for the 2000s as it’s going to be a long wait for Pantone, The 21st Century in Color.