348 Color Combinations from Sanzo Wada

Sanzo Wada (1883–1967) is the most inspiring artist you’ve ever heard of until now. A Japanese painter, teacher, costume, and kimono designer from Tokyo. He was involved in creating kabuki and Noh theatre costumes. In the 1920s, he helped popularize the shin-hanga genre of woodblock printmaking.

Between 1933 and 1934Sanzo Wada published 6-volumes of color studies (Haishoku Soukan), documenting over a thousand color combinations. The books were intended to capture traditional Japanese perceptions of color, which differed from Western approaches, and included a wide range of subtle shades and hues.

A Dictionary of Color Combinations is a book based on Wada’s original 6-volume work and contains 348 color combinations. It is a highly influential guide to color theory and practices for the fine arts. What is so special about this dictionary is that it does not just give the reader solid information on color and color mixing but also presents a wide range of examples of how various colors can be combined and used in different artistic contexts, including fashion and interior design. It is one of the first books to systematically illustrate color combinations.

Wada’s work is an excellent resource for designers because it provides a wide variety of ready-made color combinations. These combinations are harmonious and pleasing to the eye because they’re based on real-world examples of nature and art that have stood the test of time.

We created Figma and Sketch files with all 348 color combinations

Sanzo Wada’s Color Combinations Sketch File