Thursday, December 8, 2011

‘Tis the season for Christmas Camouflage in graphics

For most people the festive Christmas color combination of red and green shown above has excellent contrast. Unfortunately, for a mostly male minority (up to ~10%) with red-green color blindness, it has almost no contrast. In a February 2009 blog post I called that Christmas Camouflage. An online tool called Vischeck lets us see a simulation of how someone with red-green blindness (a deuteranope) would see it. Now both Santa and his elves look like they’ve joined the army and have been issued identical olive drab uniforms.

Unless you ask them, you won’t know if someone is color blind. People with that problem usually adapt by having others help them color coordinate their clothes. In a cafeteria line they will be careful to ask for the soup by name, because otherwise they might get served split pea soup (green) instead of cream of tomato (orange).

The Santa Claus icon (recolored to make the elves) came from Mizunoryu on Wikimedia Commons.

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