Color & Light

Navigating Color Mixing in the Midst of an LED Revolution, A Handbook for Lighting Designers


240 pages
7x9 paper
Color Illustrations
Drama Publishers / QSM
Categories: ,

Color & Light is an essential practical guide to how color works in light. Written from the perspective of a theatrical lighting designer, it discusses how to see color, how to construct effective lighting palettes, and how to make use of both color filters and color-mixing LED fixtures to create compositions that work well with scenery and costumes to tell compelling stories.

We are presently at the leading edge of a revolution in theatrical lighting, redefining how it can be used to create and communicate. Today’s LED-based additive color-mixing fixtures require new methodologies and new ways of thinking, and Color & Light directly addresses this technology’s potentials and challenges.

But underpinning lighting’s many recent technological changes is the fundamental language of color that artists have worked with since the birth of humanity’s artistic urges.

More saturated vs. less, warmer vs. cooler, more green vs. more magenta, recessive vs. dominant—the bedrock language of color manipulation endures, whether you are putting paintbrush to canvas or calling up color attributes on a high-tech lighting console. Balancing the basics and the latest innovations, Color & Light is a book for everyone involved artistically with light and color. It will enhance your understanding of how a lighting setup works from a color perspective, while equipping you with the language to communicate about color with your collaborators.

About Clifton Taylor

Clifton Taylor has created designs for theater, dance, and opera companies on Broadway, regionally across the United States, and in 17 countries around the world. His designs have been seen in productions by the Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, and Paul Taylor dance companies, as well as in numerous works for the American Ballet Theatre and the ballet companies of Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Rio de Janeiro. His international dance credits also include the Mikhailovsky Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia), the Rambert Dance Company (London), the Ningbo Song and Dance Company (China), the Ballet de Lorraine (Nancy, France), and many others. Designs by Clifton Taylor for opera and classical music performances have been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Italy’s Haydn Orchestra, France’s Opéra de Lorraine, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Yokohama Noh Theater, and both the Japan Society and the Japan Foundation. He is a sought-after teacher and lecturer on theatrical lighting, especially in the areas of color and light, regularly speaking at NYU and at LDI (Live Design International). He presented lectures on color at New York’s Broadway Lighting Master Class for 17 years and is a former member of the Juilliard School’s dance faculty. For more information about Clifton Taylor, please visit www.designcurve.com.

“In this extraordinary book Clifton Taylor offers a clear, concise explanation of COLOR, its manifestation in nature, the old and new technologies, and, most essentially, how to think about and select color for the stage. No one can now run a credible lighting design course without this book.”
—Beverly Emmons, Tony Award– and Drama Desk Award­–nominated lighting designer

“For anyone who has to choose color in light, this book is invaluable. It offers a contemporary understanding of the effects of colored light in the theater and of where the new lighting technology shall lead us.”
—Jules Fisher, nine-time Tony Award–winning lighting designer

Color & Light is a wonderful resource for lighting designers, photographers, and visual artists. It is well laid out and easy to navigate. Clifton touches on necessary components like storytelling, communicating style, service to performers, scenery and costumes, and rendering space. This is a great educational tool for both beginning and seasoned artists and will be an asset to any designer’s library. Bravo!”
—Howell Binkley, two-time Tony Award–winning lighting designer

Color and Light is an important and astonishingly timely contribution to the literature of stage lighting. . . .  Color in nature is constantly shifting all around us; its ability to affect our deepest emotions is a powerful weapon in the designer’s toolkit. The advent of multicolored LED sources vastly increases—and massively complicates—our ability to handle color on the stage. This book brilliantly introduces us to this new and wondrous complexity, explains the science behind human color perception (metamers and so on), and explores how this totally new ability to paint with light of infinitely subtle color can enrich our storytelling on the stages of tomorrow.”
—Richard Pilbrow, lighting designer, theater design consultant, and author of Stage Lighting and Stage Lighting Design: The Art, the Craft, the Life

“Finding just the right color, so often the most personal part of lighting design, can be an almost scary task, solved by trial and error. But Clifton Taylor breaks down the mystery of color into language readily understood and immediately useful. His clarity and expertise make finding the right color much less daunting.”
—Ken Billington, Tony Award– and Drama Desk Award–winning lighting designer

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