The Secret Language of Color is appropriately, a feast for the eyes. It divides itself into basic colors and categories, and provides a rich sampling of things, concepts and facts associated with that color - or colors in that field. It's a nice concept, and it is delightfully executed by 8 ½ Design (though you might need a magnifying glass to read the captions). Each chapter has its own template backdrop that you first see in the table of contents, which itself is a collection of the templates with large page numbers, instead of a simple list. The chapters themselves use the template image as the bleeding edge of their pages. The text is the color of the chapter (The first chapter is rainbow gradient). Lots of colorful photos, a bunch of color illusion tests, and all kinds of factoids. The images often stretch across two pages, and the layout is festively inconsistent. Even the Acknowledgements manages to color everyone's name differently. It's a stylish overview.
You learn a bunch of things, like why stones look more colorful when wet (Light-scattering effects off the stone's surface are muted by the wet covering), where Yellow Journalism came from (The popular Yellow Kid cartoons, claimed by two major papers because of the readership it brought in), and the odd fact that cardinals and flamingos get their red/pink colors from what they eat. Change their diet, and they lose their hues.
I particularly liked the introduction, where the authors state their primary discovery: "Anyone who claims to be an expert in color is a liar," is how it begins. Color is so central so every field, every science, every art, and every being that no one can possibly have a complete handle on it. Especially since we're still just learning (The text of the introduction is a rainbow gradient - of course).
That said, the Eckstuts have put together a very easy to read compendium, which constantly crosses the threshold from pop science to coffee table and back. It's hard to pin it down. But as an interesting read and a terrific layout, it's a memorable celebration.