I was stumbling around some of my usual design resources today when I came across this little rubix cube for anyone who finds themselves dealing with color on a daily basis. As designers/creative professionals, one would assume that we are able to distinguish colors better than the average Joe/Jane but that is only true to a certain extent. Our abilities to see and distinguish colors are initially limited at birth. Individuals who are colorblind are typically born with and inherit that trait. For those of us who are not color blind, it might be a matter of looking at different swatches over and over again that will train the eye to see the slightest differences in hues/shades, but for others no amount of time and training of the eye will be able to see slight differences in color. For those who may not know, color blindness isnt the absence of color such as black and white, instead where its hard to differentiate between two colors, red and green being the most common. Approximately 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 20 women are color blind. After completing this test, I remembered playing a shoot’em up style video game with my friend and I noticed he attacked his teammates repeatedly without hesitation. When I asked him what he was doing, he asked what color our team was and then informed me that both teams were the same color in his eyes.
Later on in college, I started to wonder what kind of difficulties a person with colorblindness would have as a creative professional. Sure creatives focus on layout, typography, composition, interaction, usabillity etc. but if a person has the inability to distinguish between a clients PMS 569 green and 1665 orange, how do they overcome this obstacle?
Last week, the previously mentioned friend was at my apartment picking out some of my silk screened prints for his new place, he metioned how he liked one piece but he didnt like the colors of the texture on the front (it was green and he thought it was red). I ended up printing the same print with different colors so that he would be able to enjoy it more. When I gave it to him, I never really realized how certain people see the designs that we put out….something to think about.