Iro: The Essence of Color in Japanese DesignRossella Menegazzo

Price CAD$105.00 Price USD$79.95 Price T79.95

The first and only survey of Japanese design as seen through the lens of Japan’s traditional color spectrum – an exquisitely packaged fresh take on a universally popular topic

The traditional colors of Japan have been in use since the seventh century, originally to indicate rank and social hierarchy but, over time, their significance has broadened to include all manner of designed objects. This landmark volume celebrates a curated selection of 200 colours (iro in Japanese), with each traditional shade illustrated by one or more items – ranging from 16th-century kimonos to contemporary chairs, humble kitchen utensils to precious ceramics – providing a unique route to a deeper appreciation of Japanese design. Expertly bound in a traditional Japanese style, this stunning book is a beautiful design object in its own right and is a must-have for all lovers of design.



  • Format: Flexibound
  • Size: 270 × 205 mm (10 5/8 × 8 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 288 pp
  • Illustrations: 250 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838665333

Rossella Menegazzo is Associate Professor of the History of East Asian Art at the University of Milan, with a PhD in Oriental Studies from Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. She is the author of numerous texts on Japanese photography, graphic design, and traditional ukiyo-e art, and curator of several exhibitions. Menegazzo is a regular contributor to national newspapers in Italy, writing articles on Japanese culture and art. In 2017 she was appointed with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation. Menegazzo is the co-author of Phaidon's bestselling Wa: The Essence of Japanese Design.


'A book that proves valuable for collectors and color obsessives.' - Introspective

'Bright and luminous.' - Remodelista

'Exquisitely packaged.' - Aspire Design & Home

'What struck me first about Rossella Mennegazzo's book was it's Japanese style binding ... Its pages continued to impress with texture and content. This beautiful book explores 200 colors (iro), with each traditional Japanese hue represented by one or more noteworthy items. Everything from modern furniture to utensils and kimonos are included in the carefully curated collection that you have to see in person for the utmost appreciation.' - Kelly Beall, Design Milk