Celebrated Novels Transformed Into Evocative Color Schemes [Pics]

Celebrated Novels Transformed Into Evocative Color Schemes [Pics]

Artist Jaz Parkinson’s Color Charts use striped book covers to represent authors’ words invoking color.

Akpanoluo Etteh
  • 12 september 2013

Color Signatures by British artist Jaz Parkinson visualizes famous novels as book covers through the authors’ references to color made in each text. Using an excel spreadsheet, the artist first keeps a tally of each time the author’s words evoke a color as she reads. Instances can include direct references to a color, such as the mention of the “yellow brick road” in “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ,” or the colors corresponding to depicted objects, as in the descriptions of the flashes of rifle shots in “The Red Badge of Courage.” After completing the novel and noting the corresponding colors, Parkinson colors in each cell, and groups similar colors together. Finally, she reorders the groups of colors to form an appealing color scheme, and creates the final print using Adobe Photoshop. The result of the entire painstaking process is a unique striped fingerprint that presents an imaginative way of looking at the content of a novel.

So far,  Parkinson has created covers for “The Color Purple,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “1984,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “The Book of Revelations,” among others. Her process often yields surprising results: “A Clockwork Orange” is dominated by red and has little orange, while “The Color Purple” has only traces of purple, but features white prominently. “Alice in Wonderland,” in spite of its phantasmagorical descriptions, is surprisingly lacking when it comes to color use. Parkinson notes that over a third of the novel’s colors are white, with the remaining color references being limited to the most basic mentions of color. On the other hand, “Revelations” holds true to its apocalyptic themes; references to jewels, white horses, blood, and fire make the color scheme as frightening as its content.

Her prints are available for sale on Etsy, but click through to see more of the surprising images below.


Color Signatures


Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors


Gavin Andresen

Digital Currency, Security, Community

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.