Category Archives: colorblind

Taking the Guesswork out of Colours

One of the biggest challenges for colourblind people is getting the right colour. Not the colour right because we know we want the red t-shirt not the green one. However, which is the red one?

As a colourblind artist this has been my problem my entire life. Twenty years ago I remember playing a computer game called Bubble. It was a standard game where you shot coloured balls into the sky and popped ones of the same colour.


ColorAdd Color Wheel

Impossible for anyone with Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) but this game was different. Within the bubbles were a variety of patterns, each representing a colour. So, you just ignored the colours and played with the patterns.

Colorblind design

I’ve always wondered why other designers don’t use patterns instead of colours when key coding things. The London Underground is a nightmare for CVD people.

Well the clever people at ColorAdd have come up with a symbol based series of codes that take the guesswork out of colours. It’s a wonderfully simple and incredibly helpful system. Aren’t some of the cleverest solutions always the simplest ones?

ColorAdd2Three symbols are used to represent the primary colours – red, yellow and blue. Then combinations of these are used for the secondary colours – orange, purple and green. Black and white are squares and tones are the appropriate square (white for light, black for dark) with the colour symbols inside.

How ingenious!

The uses are endless. Clothing, stationary, wiring, directions, medicines and food can all, with the addition of a little logo, be demystified for colourblind people. When you consider that an estimated 350 million people worldwide have difficulty distinguishing colours, this surely is one of the most common sense additions to packaging I can think of.

To find out more click ColorAdd.