You're looking at all articles on The Hickensian tagged 'colourblindness'

How to survive as a colourblind designer

…It’s a question that pops up every now then from other designers with colourblindness, asking me what techniques I use to work around it. I hesitate to ‘play the CB tambourine’ yet again, but for those that struggle with it there are 3 things I rely on a lot (apart from discovering HSL colour):

  1. Ask people. If I’m ever unsure of a colour I’m using, or being asked to use, I ask someone that isn’t colourblind. That’s usually either Leigh or one of my studio mates at No73.
  2. Steal other colour schemes. If you see something that works, nick it. Get something like the indispensable ColorSnapper and grab the colour values of things you like (as well as tell you what colour something is)
  3. Don’t be afraid to use black and white with one accent colour

Nothing is foolproof, and remember that everyone sees colour differently anyway :)

What colour is that?

Being colourblind, “What colour is that?” is a question I’ve had to ask too many times. If there’s no one around to check with it means taking a screenshot and dissecting the CMYK values (I still can’t think in RGB) in a graphics editor. Do-able, but a bit of a pain the ass quite frankly. In particular, the hardest for me are those itty-bitty colour swatches you get in Photoshop and Fireworks. The smaller the area of colour, the harder it is for me to distinguish blue from purple, grey from pink and green from brown.

A wonderful new app for OS X has been released, called Color Decoder, and it solves this problem in a really simple way. Just hover over an element with the loupe and the colour is displayed in a way that I can understand:

My eyes and sanity are saved!

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The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

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Upcoming Talks

I sometimes pop up at conferences and waffle about design, icon creation in particular. Here's where I'll be next:

An Event Apart Chicago- "Icon Design Process" - 25-26th August 2014

Web Expo Guildford- "Icon Design Process" - 26th September 2014

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