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Colorblindness - Are Green Cats Normal?

Updated on August 7, 2009

Dots or a Boat

Before starting I should qualify and explain the reasons behind this blog, Firstly I am a trained and experienced Designer, secondly I am blind in one eye, thirdly I am colorblind and fourthly doesn't bother me . I don't say this looking for pity or by way of making excuses but just to waylay any fears that people may have with this subject.

What I wanted to do is explain the brilliant world as seen by a one eyed, colorblind artist, so for those of you wishing to confirm my abilities check Not Caravaggio admittedly but also quite capable of drawing a circle. I'm buggered though if you want me to tell you if its red or green.

More dots or a Car

Having one eye means I only have one point of reference, so things are either

a) far away

b) Near or

c)CRASH !!! opps to close.

Not wishing to worry anyone who lets me drive them around but things sometimes seem like they are miles away and then suddenly you've arrived. Other times you think there is lots of room and the next thing you know you have shut your head in the fridge.

So to help us we have other depth queues. Things like relative size, large is near, small is far away but what if its a large lorry far away and a little car near? Then there is color fading, the further away an object gets the more blue it looks, check out the hills in the distance, they are not green are they. Spacial relationships, is the object in front of, on top of or behind the table, for me its quite often all three. My favourite sobriety test is touch your nose. Stone cold sober with eight hours sleep I can still poke myself in the eye.

Another dot or a kite

Don't fear for we always have the never failing sense of color. Now there are a number of different color blind conditions, Red/ Green, tonal, brilliance or hue diffences, my personal affliction of choice is tonal. Here things of the same tone have the same color. So bright Ginger cats appear grass green, dark grey rain leaden skies are a glossy pink and luminosity of the Dutch football kit's orange is strong enough to effect the color of the turf.

Its not true we all run red traffic lights, they are normally the light at the top, we don't eat babies and we don't want to be taken to your leader thank you. The average is about 5% of males are colour blind but it doesn't effect women.And yes I can hear all you girls saying its not that you have colorblindness you just won't listen to your eyes telling you its really blue.

Test your senses

These pairs of colours are all the same.
These pairs of colours are all the same.

Why the rant then? Well the other day I thought I had time to spare, looking at the train timetable, the last train was at 7.30........ but no it was an hour earlier, the color was just similar and I ended up with a 6 Km walk home. So its really a plea to designers to try and use a little commonsense when color coding. Nice pastel shades might look great at the presentation but if its meant to be of use, people need to be able to differentiate between the colors. Make a statement, go bold, be Rio at Carnaval time, leave the pastels to Laura Ashley.

Next week - Being left handed in a right handed world. Are we really Satins children?



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    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hi knell63,

      I admire you for not letting your blindness stop you from pursuing your art. Hats off!

      I met a completely colorblind male before. He was not just red-green color blind but completely color blind. Everything was shades of white-gray-black to him. He said he has learned to distinguish which of the shades are red or blue or green.His wife had to help select his clothes though so that they will match colors.

      I just want to add that... Girls can be color blind too if both parents are color blind or if the father is color blind and the mother is at least a carrier. This is very rare of course.


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