Am I color blind? If so, what does that mean?
After my post about the X-Rite Color Deficiency test was so popular I thought I’d do a little more research into the matter. What I found was interesting to say the least. For example, if you are color deficient there are a few job that you cannot have such as a police officer or pilot. Did you know that in some European countries you can not have a driver’s licenses if you are color deficient due to the color coding of lights and signs. I’ve never thought about it but I could see why someone who is color deficient would not be able to be an electrician as well! Another job that came up in my research was Baggage Handler as there are some tagging systems that use color coding. (for more info) A few others that came up in my research were the Army, if you have red/green colour blindness; Custom & Excise Officer; Civil Aviation: pilots (although this may change), engineers, technical and maintenance staff, air traffic controllers; Railways: drivers, engineers and maintenance staff; Hospital laboratory technicians and pharmacists; Paint, paper, textile manufacture, photography and fine art reproduction. One source cited the difficulties of being a chef if you are color deficient as you may not know if you are cooking the product correctly or if the product is good to begin with. That being said I know other people who are color deficient but lead successful careers in designers, illustrators, apparel designers, etc. There are tons of resources out there and I found out that there might be a cure in the near future!
Here’s an example of the Ishihara Color Test for Color Blindness. You should see the “12” in the top image and an “8” in the bottom image.
So, the question that people have is, Am I color Blind? The fact of the matter is that it is extremely rare that someone would be completely “color blind”, meaning that they only see in black/white. The truth is that people who are labeled as “color blind” are merely “color deficient” to a degree. According to the ColorVisionTesting.com website about 5%-8% of males are born with some sort of color deficiency as apposed to only 0.5% of woman are born with some sort of color deficiency.
Do you think you are color deficient? Here are a few places to go to test yourself. (computer nerd alert: of course the results might vary depending on the calibration of your monitor)
As a designer and a teacher of designers, I know that most people do not take into consideration the color deficient of the world. While working on a design if you want to double check your work to see how someone who is color deficient might see your designs/photos you can check our the Coblis — Color Blindness Simulator. Simply upload your image and take a look!
You also might want to take a look at Adobe’s Color Website! This is not only a wonderful resource for the color deficient but for the person who is not so great at matching or coming up with color schemes!
Adobe Kuler / Color
A couple of great resources that I found are ColorBlindnessAwareness.org and ColourBlindness.com websites!
If you decide to take any of the tests and/or if you know you are color deficient, I would love to hear thoughts by commenting below!