Palette for Colour Blindness

I am currently making a tutorial video and needed to create a diagram. As I was doing it I remembered a post a week or so ago about “Support for Disabled Users”, so I decided to see if I could find a palette for the diagram that would be suitable for people with colour blindness (or colour deficiency) as well as those with normal vision. There are several such pallettes, in the end I chose the one developed by IBM.

Too many times we happily create diagrams that to us look vibrant, but to the 1 in 12 to 1 in 25, depending on ethnicity, who are colour blind many of these diagrams are unusable as the colours, that are meant to impart information, canot be differentiated by them. The following diagram shows how the spectrum of colours is perceived by people with the 3 main types of color blindness and it obvious to see why normal colour palettes are a problem for them and I’d encourage you to think about these issues too when using colours to represent information.

The IBM palette is shown below (other palettes are also available):


and this is a simulation of what it looks like (Coloring for Colorblindness):



Very interesting for me, as i am partly color blind or disabled (red-green blindness).
For me in the spectrum diagram at the top the 1. and the 3. row look very similar.

In the color palette (last diag.) the first three columns look quite similar to mee, but i see a slight difference in the middle color block, but not in the others. The “True” and the “Deut” column look most the same for me, the ‘Deut’ maybe just a little darker.

So, what does that mean? My red and green recepting cones are defective?
My uncle had the exact same problem and was working as electrician for the german postal office. He always had problems with the cable colors and co-workers had to help him out :slight_smile:
In practice i hardly notice my problem (even if i do a lot of photography work and video editing). Sometimes my wife says: “the face color is quite odd” :joy:

I’m sorry to hear that. I really didn’t know how common colour impairment is in the general population.

Think yourself lucky your not an animal though. I remember a post some years ago that was interesting and related. See Here:

No problem at all - it doesn’t bother me in practical life apart from some special occasions :wink:
Just wanted to let you know how i see the color palette.

If we are aware of the bandwidth of the electromagnetic spectrum we can only percieve far less than 1% of all the frequencies available. We feel some as heat but only a very narrow band with the eyes. There might be animals or other kinds of beeings with much higher abilities;-)

The king of the color-seeing kingdom is the mantis shrimp.

Compared to humans’ three color-receptive cones, the mantis shrimp has 16 color-receptive cones, can detect ten times more color than a human, and probably sees more colors than any other animal on the planet.They can see in ultraviolet, infrared, and even polarized light.

Not only that, but their eyes are on separate stalks and are able to move independently of each other, meaning they’re able to keep an eye watching out for predators and prey in two different directions at once, and in more colors than we can even conceptualize.

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Interesting facts i didn’t know!
Underwater life is really exciting. I used to dive in earlier times and was once on a reef in red sea.
I probably recognized 40-50 species of fish in all colors you can imagine (probably only saw 60% of what other can see). For the mantis shrimp it seems to be vital to be able to distinguish more colors than we can. Some fish impress their mood by colors :wink:

I too used to dive with my wife, but a few years ago I had to go onto anticoagulant tablets three years ago and am no longer allowed. She was a keen underwater photographer and I used to put our “trip reports” and photos on my website (Elusien - Elusien Trips, vacation trip report.).

We went to the Red Sea quite a few times. I have always said that you can remove all the fish from the Red Sea and the diving will still be spectular because of the vibrant corals. We also enjoyed diving further afield, such as Hawaii, Sipadan in Malasia and the Lembeh Straits in Indonesia. Most of the photos from there are stunning, the electric clam, mandarin fish and nudibranchs in particular.

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Hey, very nice homepage, Neil & Sue :slight_smile:
You have been to quite a lot of interesting places all over around the world!
We have been to the seychelles a few years ago, spent 3 weeks on mahe, i think it was near big anse bay. Our favorite beach was takamaka bay, a lovely quite place with lots of sea turtles to see - but they are nearly everywhere. We saw big manta sting rays and probably 80% of the fish you show in your slide show :slight_smile:

Did you prefer maledives over seychelles or vice versa? We haven’t been to the maledives yet but may go sometime. We have been to far east asia many times - thailand, vietnam, laos, myanmar, malaysia.
Also some greek and turkish islands, santorin beeing the most spectacular.
We have also been swimming in the dead sea in jordan, but there are no fish to see - but its an interesting experience :slight_smile: