Just came a across a superb article by Geri Coady, a designer and illustrator living in Newfoundland (Canada) about the importance of designers taking into account the fact that about 5% of the population in the world are colour blind. Well, it’s mainly men of course ….. but that’s all the more reason to take into account [joking].
Some really excellent advice about how to take colour blindness into account in design work. She talks about problems with the use of colour in London’s iconic underground map (see my blog about colour blindness and maps). She also comments on a game (Faster than Light) that has a colour-blind mode; I mentioned last week that SimCity was doing something similar. About time. It’s so lazy not to take colour blindness into account in the digital environment. There are also some great links to simulators.
University of Leeds Campus
I am very lucky to be working with Sea-hwa Won from South Korea who is here in Leeds for three years undertaking a PhD in colour design. Her PhD is about …. well, I can’t tell you that yet because it might influence the answers you give to her on-line survey. She has just launched an on-line survey about colour and product design and it would be great if you would help her research by clicking on the link below and completing the survey. Later, when the survey is complete I will say something about what the research is about.
Click here to take the colour survey. It only takes a minute of your time and for that you will receive the warm glow of satisfaction that you have contributed to the advancement of colour science.
A new study by academics at the University of Colorado suggests that the colour ink you use when providing comments and feedback to students can alter their perception of criticism and place unnecessary blame on the teacher for bad marks or feedback. According to the researchers teachers should use a blue pen if they want their comments to be taken in a constructive manner. The full research paper is available online here.
“Wearing a light blue wetsuit that matches the colour of the sea will make you less likely to become the victim of a shark attack, according to researchers.
Sharks are completely colour blind and only see things clearly if they are mostly light or dark, scientists have claimed.”according to the Daily Mail.
This does not make a lot of sense – if sharks are colour blind then it wouldn’t matter what colour you wear. But later in the article the point is put better by Professor Nathan Hart, from the University of Western Australia: ‘It’s the high contrast against the water rather than the colour itself which is probably attractive to sharks. So you should wear perhaps more muted colours or colours that match the background in the water better.’
Apparently sharks really are monochromats – so colour blind in the popular understanding of the word – and so it’s really a case of matching the yoru swim suit with the lightness or brightness of the surrounding water. Don’t wear a very bright or a very dark swim suit, in short. Maybe this can lead to better designed swimwear!
I am editor for an academic journal about colour – the Journal of the International Colour Association. We just published our 8th issue today which is a special issue containing some of the best papers from the VI conference of the Italian Colour Group. Readers of this blog will probably particularly enjoy the paper by Francesca Valan on The evolution of colour in design from the 1950s to today. Valan introduces the notion of chromatic cycles and observes that the higher the chroma the shorter the duration of the trend. Some interesting predictions are made about the popularity of certain colours in the near future. To see this and all the other papers from this issue click here.
This was a picture taken whilst shopping in Tesco today. There are union jack flags everywhere you look at the moment in the UK. The Olympics has not even started yet – the reason there are so many flags already is, of course, the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen taking the throne of the UK. The red, white and blue colours of the union flag – red = Pantone 186 (C), blue = Pantone 280 (C) – derive from a combination of the three flags from England, Scotland and Ireland.
The English flag dates from 1194 when Richard I introduced the cross of St George as the national flag of England.
The Scottish flag was a diagonal white cross on a blue background.
When Queen Elizabeth I died, the scottish king James (King James VI of Scotland) inherited the throne of England and became James I. James I proclaimed himself King of Great Britain and essentially unified England and Scotland. But which flag to use? A new flag was created that was a combination of the previous two and known as the Union flag. A white boarder was added around the red cross because the rules of heraldry demanded that two colours must never touch each other.
The union flag was used at sea from 1606 but became the national flag of Great Britain in 1707 under the reign of Queen Anne. We now had the United Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801 Ireland became part of the United Kingdom. The Irish flag had been a diagonal red cross on a white background.
The combination of all three flags resulted in the familiar Union Jack.
The name was later changed to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland when the greater part of Ireland left the United Kingdom in 1921.
Why is Wales not represented in the Union Jack? To read why this is please visit here.
Interesting post about colour meanings in business.
An interesting project, Color Forecast, has been developed by Pedro Cruz and runs feeds from high definition cameras in Milan, Paris and Antwerp to track the colour of fashions worn across the cities.The software analyzes the passing colors and shows in real time which colors are worn most often, then the colors are compiled into an infographic to see how trends evolve. For further information see here.
The School of Design at the University of Leeds has a new website! It’s based on WordPress too which is pretty cool.
I was quite excited to come across this news story today. I do sometimes get asked by people about colours that nobody has ever seen before. So the notion that Nadal had seen one was quite interesting. However, it turns out that it is not a colour that has never been seen before but a clay colour that has never been used before in a ranking tennis tournament. Doh!!
The controversial use of blue courts at the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters may be a poor choice. One of the requirements of a clay court colour is to ensure good contrast between the ball and the ground.