With a workshop in colour theory Akzo Nobel helps people who are professionally involved in making choices about colour in the built environment. The workshop consists of four modules and for each module the company has developed a teaching-cum-exercise book. Nice idea, but very superficial when it comes to content. For example, what are we supposed to make of the statement that ‘black gives red a completely different symbolic meaning and evokes associations with fascism and violence’? The booklets themselves are nothing special. Format and paper are standard, and virtually no attention has been given to the typography. The colour in the photographs has been considerably boosted and this is no bad thing: after all, this is teaching material about the perception of colour.
The packaging, on the other hand, is spectacular. The four booklets have been inserted into transparent plastic covers which are linked together by large press studs of the same material. Each of the covers in turn incorporates all sorts of smaller insert pockets. And in these small pockets there are colour samples for projects, along with a CD (sadly not Apple-compatible). The empty pockets are for course members to collect their own material. Could be handy on the shop floor later.
The many layers of plastic almost turn four ordinary booklets into an object, and perhaps it is all rather overdone. But this is the world of paint and dirty hands, where plastic protective covers are definitely a good choice.