Faber Birren

A few months ago I came across the name Faber Birren as being credited with choosing the colors for the Pyrex Bakeware line of flamingo red and lime green. So who was Faber Birren?

Faber Birren was born on September 21, 1900 in Chicago to Crescentia Lang Birren and landscape painter, Joseph Pierre Birren. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and was a renowned expert in color by the 1950s. He moved to New York in 1935 and kept meticulous records on color trends and sales in paints, wallpapers, textiles, plastics, home furnishing, etc. Orange for hunting? That was Faber although he preferred cerise-pink (The Potter Enterprise December 2, 1948). How to paint you home? Faber (The Sedalia Democrat September 13, 1953). Machinary painted to emphasize safety? Faber, again (The Danville Morning News October 27, 1942). His clients inclulded the Army, Navy various hospitals, General Motors, Monsanto and Du Pont. He died in 1988.

Books on color theory by Faber Birren:

“Color Dimensions” 1934

“Functional Color” 1937

“Selling with Color” 1945

“Color Pyschology and Color Therapy” 1950

“Your Color and Your SElf” 1952

“Selling Color to People” 1956

“Creative Color” 1961

“Color, Form and Space” 1961

“Color in Your World” 1962

“Color A Survey in Words and Pictures” 1963

“Color for Interiors” 1963

“History of Color in Painting” 1965

“Principles of Color” 1969

“A Grammar of Color” 1969

“Light, Color, & Environment” 1969

“Color Perception in Art” 1976

“Color & Human Response” 1978

“The Textile Colorist” 1980

“The Symbolison of Color” 1988

If you want to know about Faber Birren and color theory here are some great resources: