Biography Frank H Mahnke

Since 1973, Frank H. Mahnke has dedicated his life to the study of color and how it can be used to create beneficial and healthy surroundings for human beings in the places they live, work, and heal from illness.


Mr. Mahnke is President of the IACC - International Association of Colour Consultant/Designers since 1988 and the Director of the IACC Education/Accreditation Programs conducted worldwide. In this capacity Mr. Mahnke is a permanent lecturer for the IACC on the psycho-physiological effects of color, light and the human reaction to the built environment. In addition to his lectures on applied and psychodiagnostic color psychology, he lectures on the role of color as information and communication in the field of marketing.


Since 1977, Mr. Mahnke has worked as an environmental designer and color consultant on architectural projects for Federal and State Governments and in the private sector. He was first a partner of Mahnke & Mahnke Environmental Design, which was changed in 1988 to the American Information Center for Color and Environment.


The focus of his work emphasizes the importance of environmental conditions for medical and psychiatric health-care facilities, offices, industrial and manufacturing environments, educational facilities, and correctional facilities. Since 1977 he has been retained by many firms as an analyst for architectural environmental conditions regarding psycho-physiological, neuro-psychological, psychosomatic, and visual ergonomic factors in these and other built environments.


Guest lecturer: universities and professional associations.

Permanent lecturer:

IACC Academy Salzburg Seminars for Color and Environment

IACC Seminars for Color and Environment in San Diego, USA,

IACC Seminars, IACC School for Color and Design, Nagoya-City and Fukuoka Branch, Japan

Masters in Color in Architecture Program, Faculty for Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal

IACC Introductory Seminars: AIED associazione per l'educazione demografica, Milan in 2005.


Mr Mahnke is an author of numerous articles for professional journals in the USA, Germany and Switzerland. His popular books are:


Color and Light in Man-Made Environments. First published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York 1987, paperback 1993. Now published and distributed by John Wiley and Sons Inc. New York


Color Environment & Human Response. First published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. New York 1996. Now published and distributed by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York


Mensch, Farbe, Raum (Humans, Color, Space). Co-Author. Verlagsanstalt Alexander Koch, Germany 1998


Il colore nella progettazione (Color in Planning). UTET Torino, Italy 1998

Color: Communication in Architectural Space. Co-Author. Birkhäuser Publisher Basel, Boston, Berlin. 2007.  Available also in German under the title: Farbe: Kommunikation im Raum.  Chinese: China Architecture and Building Press publisher, 2008.



Here he examines:


• The psychological effects of color  

• Psychophysiological effects  

• Psychosomatics, emotions, and design  

• Vision and light  

• Biological effects of light  

• Analysis of design goals


Color, Environment, and Human Response


Frank Mahnke


Mr. Mahnke combines hard scientific evidence with empirical studies and his professional experience as a color consultant to create a fascinating guide to the purposeful use of color.


In the second part of Color Environment, and Human Response, Mr. Mahnke gives practical advice on use of color and light for specific purposes in a broad scope of environments. From hospitals to industrial workplaces, each function of the built environment is thoroughly covered. The chapter on healthcare facilities, for example, includes advice for every area from the entrance lobby and patient and visitors lounges to laboratories, staff lounges and intensive care units. Just a few of the many built environments covered in illuminating detail include:

  • Offices and computer workstations
  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Industrial work environments
  • Colors for exteriors

You can order Color, Environment, and Human Response from the publisher John Wiley and Sons at or through