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Colors despite color vision deficiency

By 23. May 2022No Comments


Colors despite color vision deficiency


In addition to the subjective and collective perception of colors, the objective ability of each individual observer to process colors plays a role. This is limited in about 2% of all people with color vision deficiencies. If information is to be conveyed with colors, we must ensure as best as possible that the information reaches the addressee.

If, for example, the manufacturer’s mechanics are to be shown in blue overalls and the customer’s mechanics in green overalls in order to clarify responsibilities in the illustrations, these colors with instructive coding will not be perceived correctly in the case of color vision deficiency (color blindness). All the mechanics’ overalls look virtually the same to viewers with color vision deficiencies.

But how can we make sure that instructive color use is interpreted correctly?

Marco Jänicke

Safety colors according to ISO 3864 and their perception with color vision deficiency deuteranopia (a kind of color blindness)

But how can we make sure that instructive color use is interpreted correctly?

Use the web service Although this web service is primarily used to develop color harmonies, a filter for various forms of color vision deficiency can be used to understand how colors are perceived by people with color vision deficiency and to select an alternative color.

If possible, use double coding of your information, as we already know from many areas of visual communication.

  • For example, a traffic light does not only show red, yellow and green, these colors have a fixed position in the traffic light.
    Red – top
    Yellow – middle
    Green – bottom
    So a double coding with color and position.
  • Or from our field the safety signs, here we have a double coding of color and shape.
    Prohibition: Red + ring and diagonal bar
    Mandatory: Blue + circle
    Warning: yellow + triangle
    Rescue: Red or Green + Square

And when does it become quite difficult? For example, when shape and position are identical, as we can find with multicolored LEDs on many machines and devices. In such and all other cases of instructive use of color, just talk to me, we will find a solution together.