Albert Uderzo’s Sight

The french comic book artist Albert Uderzo, famous through his stories about Asterix, is colorblind. He says that this never was a problem for him. We don’t know from which color blindness he suffers and how pronounced his color blindness is. But it sounds anyway very impressiv to be such a well know artist while being colorblind.

Looked up at Wikipedia they say about Albert Uderzo:

He was actually born colour-blind with two extra fingers (which were surgically removed). His sight has since greatly improved.

As I understand this sentence has his color vision deficency diminished more and more since he surgically removed the two extra fingers. That’s a joke, isn’t it? For me there isn’t any relationship between those two circumstances. And how can color blindness greatly improve? This leaves me very puzzled and with a lot of questionmarks.

Further reading:
Albert Uderzo
Asterix official homepage

Related articles:
Photographer with No Color Sense
Mars in the Eyes of Colorblind Astronomer Schiaparellli

Colblindor in a New Style

In this very moment I am finished (for today) with the new layout and new graphics of Colblindor. Of course I hope you like it.

I already wrote about how I decided about the colors. Only in the last minute my color adviser told me to remove the green background and make it less colorful. The top picture is already colorful enough, she said, and with headings and links it is definitely enough of mixed colors. So I changed it to a simple light gray background. Hope you like it.

The top picture is maybe not that easy to understand. It shows the color spectrum in horizontal bars at five different sections. The first one is the normal section which shows the bars how they are seen with normal color vision. In the second the colors reflect a vision when suffering from protanope. The third reflects deuteranope and the fourth tritanope. To complete the color range I included the grayscale view on the righthand side. I’m quite happy with it. And as mentioned before – hope you like it :-)

Related articles:
A Colorblind Decides on Colors
Choosing the Right Colors

Japan’s Public Facilities Making Life Easier for Colorblind

Colorful Tokyo Subway Map
Colorful Tokyo Subway Map

TMCnet reported that Japan’s local governments and the private sector spport approaches to make life a little easier for people with weak color-discerning ability. They advise railway companies to improve their timetables and railway maps to be at least readable by people suffering from red-green color blindness. As there have more than 3 million Japanese a congentinal red-green color vision deficency this improves the public services a lot.

Yosuke Tanaka, 37, who was a member of a civic group says:

Few complaints are heard, because many colorblind people want to conceal the impairment to avoid discrimination.

Japan tries to improve the situtation slowly providing barrier-free facilities with so called “universal designs”. These take into account the different kinds of color vision deficiencies and are readable for all people.

Further reading:
Japan’s Public Facilities Making Life Easier for Colorblind

Related articles:
Ashamed of Color Blindness
Going to the Toilet
The Biology behind Red-Green Color Blindness

Some Pearls about Color Blindness

Two weeks ago I posted about some stories from fellow colorblinds at the blogoshpere. Today I will have another look at the topic enclosing color blindness.

  • Jerry has written a pearl about Being Colorblind is No Fun. It is a quite old posting I found here but other users did like it very much and gave it 4.6 stars out of 5. What a like about it is, that even black and white television affects your color feeling.
  • Tim, Simon, Nicky and Ben have an online workbook for their E-Learning project. They want to teach 10 to 13 yeard olds about nutrition and energy. What I did like to hear very much is that they address color blindness in a recent Post Meeting article. Also have a look at there online teaching cards, they look nice and promising to me.
  • And as a last passing mention I point you to somebody who tries to figure out how Komodo dragons retain their color vision. Sounds irritating to me. And if you have a look at his livejournal homepage he definitely must have a problem with color vision.

That’s it for today. Have fun, enjoy reading and tell me how you struggle with color vision.

Related articles:
Color Blindness at the Blogosphere
Photographer with no Color Sense

Shooting at Digg and Reddit

One month ago I didn’t know anything about the social news sites like digg or reddit. For my bookmarks I am using for quite a while now, but those combined services where new to me. So during the last couple of weeks I had a shot at both of them and was eager to see what would happen.

  • First shot at diggThe Biology behind Red-Green Color Blindness. As digg is more technology related it is hard to find anything about color blindness which can fit in. But they have a also a science category used for many not technology related articles. After posting it I received a lot of traffic in the first couple of hours. I received about 20 extra visits through digg and some even dugg it. But after that I disappeared in the backyard and that was it.
  • Second shot at diggSupporting a Colorblind Husband. I couldn’t resist and tried it out a second time. Maybe the reason that this time almost nothing happend was that I posted it for people living in the US in the middle of the night or the topic was just veeeery boring (although I quite like it :-). The extra visits I received through digg can be counted on one hand.
  • Third shot this time at reddit5 Misbeliefs about Color Blindness. After the second try on digg I didn’t expected a lot. But I wanted to try it out anyway. This time the post was maybe a bit more adapted to such social services and the return was tremendous. First day around 160 extra visits! Second day going down to about 40 extra visits and it is still drippleing after four days. To me – unbelievable. Even some visitors gave me a point what kept me a bit longer on the lists.

It was a good experience although I didn’t receive any comments and almost all visitors just had a look at the posted article and backed out again. Maybe some visitors subscribed to my feed as I have a few more.

Conclusion: As soon as I have something important to say again I’ll have another shot — at reddit.

Fuck the Colorblind

…that’s what it says on the shirt you can buy at Do they target at colorblind people or better at not color blind people? Or maybe people knowing somebody who is colorblind? Girls with colorblind boyfriends…

Fuck the Color Blind TShirt
T-Shirt: Fuck the Color Blind

I don’t know and I suppose I never will. The only thing I know is that I will not buy one of those. I’ll wait till the slogan gets a bit more friendly to us colorblinds.

By the way, they use a so called ishihara pictures to hide the message from us trapped by red-green color blindness. To find out what it reads I used two different methods. First the daltonize tool from Vischeck and second eyePilot a tool for colorblind people. Funnily enough both showed me the same result :-)

The shown t-shirt can be ordered here.

Related articles:
BP advertises with Ishihara Pictures
Simulating Color Blind Vision
Battle against Color Blindness with EyePilot

Project Management by Red and Green Light

When I was working as a software engineer we usually held a status report meeting once a week. As the project leaders wanted to know if everything goes well or not we used simple red light/green light reports. Every team member listed on a simple sheet the ongoing tasks and used coloring to show the actual status:

  • Green means everything is on track,
  • Yellow shows us that there are some minor problems and
  • Red let the alarm clocks ring.

If I would have been the project leader I could always sleep without any concerns. As being an optimist for me everything looked either green or at most yellow, but never ever red. In my eyes only a pessimist could spot the red tasks.

Here my two simple advices for project leaders who base there status reports an red lights/green lights:

  • Use bright yellow, medium green and dark red.
  • In addition name the status/the color.

As there are 8% of men suffering some kind of color blindness this could easily affect one of your team members. Think about it.

Related articles:
Colorblind People are Wise Persons
How the World is seen through Colorblind Eyes


If you have to color a map and are not sure which color palette you should use maybe ColorBrewer comes to your help. This little online tool shows how a color scheme looks in a map and helps you deciding on the right colors which accomplish your needs.

There is a sample map shown and you are guided through three simple steps for coloring the map:

  • Step 1: Select the count of needed color classes.
  • Step 2: Choose the legend type, either sequential for ordered data from low to high, or diverging which emphasis mid-range critical values or as a last option qualitative with no direct relation between the different color classes.
  • Step 3: After Step 2 different color sets are shown. Choose one and the sample map is getting colored with the appropriate color legend.

The interesting part starts after those 3 steps. If a color scheme is chosen the CMYK, RGB, HEX, LAB or ArcView 3.x (GIS format) values can be accessed. That’s great. On top of that additional information is shown if the chosen scheme is suitable for photocopying, LCD projector, laptop screen, CRT screen, color printing or if it will not confuse people suffering from red-green color blindness.

I tried it out and browsed through many color schemes. Most often it showed that the chosen scheme is ok for colorblind people. But when I had a close look at the colors I could definitely tell that I will have some problems with this color scheme. I don’t know where from they got the information if one scheme is confusing and others are not, but they definitely should have taken a bigger test bed or better algorithms.

Maybe they belief that if red and green are not mixed into one color scheme it is not a problem regarding red-green color blindness. This is a misbelief. The tool is ok and can maybe help you out on chosing the right colors. But please don’t trust them regarding the suggestions about color blindness. They are wrong and give a faulty feeling of certainty.

Related articles:
Choosing the Right Colors
Simulating Colorblind Vision
How the World is seen through Colorblind Eyes

5 Misbeliefs about Color Blindness

Even though there are many people, specially men, suffering from some kind of color blindness, there are many misbeliefs around and some of them deeply settled inside the brains. Let us do some cleaning up and get those straight.

I have chosen five common misbeliefs about color blindness and try to shape them towards meaningful knowledge.

Colorblind people…

  1. see only grayscale and can’t see any colors at all. As the wordings color blindness and colorblind have a liberal usage, this is not true. Most of the people called colorblind suffer from red-green color blindness and some of blue-yellow color blindness. Only very few are affected by achromatopsia and just some of those are completely colorblind. But if so there is a smooth transition to blindness and there is no hard line between really being colorblind, highly sensitiveness on bright light and blindness. And the conclusion is, colorblind people can see colors but just can’t distinguish all of them.
  2. are a risk on road traffic because they can’t distinguish between the red and the green traffic light. No, they can distinguish due to the two following facts. First of all the red light is much much darker than the green light. Maybe colorblind people have to learn the color names on the traffic lights but not the meanings of them. And secondly they are always ordered the same way. Red on the leftside or on top and green on the rightside or at the bottom. Or is it the other way around?
  3. inherit color blindness from their fathers. Well, my father is colorblind too but I inherited it from my mother. The most common red-green color blindness is a sex-linked trait. Therefore it is encoded on the X-chromosome which is passed on from a mother to her son and not the father. In the article The Biology behind Red-Green Color Blindness I go a bit futher into detail on this topic.
  4. have all the same color vision. As contradiction I list the different varieties of color blindness: Protanomaly, Protanopia, Deuteranomaly and Deuteranopia are different sorts of red-green color blindness. Tritanomaly and Tritanopia are more commonly referred to as blue-yellow color blindness. To round up we have rod monochromacy and Achromatopsia. And to top this list they can be more or less pronounced and appear even in different mixtures.
  5. are dumb. Well I have just written this article and I hope this tells you opposite. Of course we can’t name all the colors. But it’s just names and it doesn’t affect the rest of the brain mass – hopefully.

I hope these explanations can wipe out the misbliefs and broaden the knowledge about color blindness.

Further readings:
Wikipedia on Color Blindness
Wikipedia on Achromatopsia

Related articles:
The Biology behind Red-Green Color Blindness
Colorblind People are Wise Persons
What the Doctor says