book arts

In Search of the Perfect Blue

The color blue has had a long history in the Western world. The ever-changing role of blue has been used in bookbinding and the book arts to color manuscripts, maps, and scientific illustrations. Colorants used in inks, paints, and dyes have come from a variety of natural sources, including clays, gems, plants, and insects. Blue pigments were first made from imported minerals from Central Asia, eventually shifting to local resources within Europe.