How to Battle Color Blindness

First of all, why should I battle color blindness? Usually your genes decide if you are colorblind or not and this you can’t change for your whole life (at least not until today). That’s why you just have to accept it the way it is. But on the other hand, why not try to compete it and try to overcome the handicap.

If you are suffering from any kind of color blindness you know that this handicap follows you through everyday life. In the supermarket when you buy some fruits or vegetables, at the office when you read the newest diagrams of your sales figures and even at home when you try to choose the right tie for the candlelight dinner with your new girlfriend (approximately 8% of men and only 0.5% of women are affected by color blindness, therefore it’s more likely that you are a colorblind man than a woman).

So why not make life easier and try to overcome this burden. You could just try to learn colors by heart. Remember a color and its name every time you see/hear of a new one. This is like learning new words in a foreign language, the first step isn’t that easy to take but after a while it should get easier learning new colors.

Sadly this doesn’t work for me. I can’t learn a color on a shirt and then fit this color next time when I buy a fruit at the local store. Of course when you once know the color of your shirt you, well, know it. But you just can’t transform it to something else. Not even to another shirt at a clothes shop. So this attempt failed.

Let’s make another effort and take pictures. Pictures on a small digital camera. A camera which you can take easily along with you in your trouser pocket. This gives you the ability to compare the picture gallery with a thing you don’t know the color yet. Just find the best fit and you know it. This way you even get a growing archive of colors to fit and are therefore less helpless when you should buy knew trousers and don’t want to ask the young beautiful shop assistant who is approximately twenty years younger than you.

I know, this is also not a breathtaking idea. Let’s go one step further. Look around for a not colorblind girlfriend. A small lightweight which you even could carry in your bag. This way you have your color matching voice always along with you. You will never bite in a green banana again…

The conclusion out of this is that not the colorblind persons have to battle color blindness but the color viewing persons. They should think more actively about it when drawing a diagram, preparing a presentation, designing some new color codes or developing a new product. And this also means to me that the industry has to take into account that almost every tenth person has some kind of color vision confusion.

Think about it.

15 responses on “How to Battle Color Blindness

  1. Jersey Girl

    This was interesting…it’s not something I would think of on a regular basis, because it doesn’t affect me, but I am glad you made me aware of this stuff, especially on charts and such! Fruits, veggies…would have never crossed my mind. Glad you shared.

  2. Willem

    Yeah, I agree that people who see colors properly should think about colorblind people. I’m red/green colorblind and have the same problems as you described. Interesting blog!

    PS: Do you know if there are some sort of glasses through which ‘normal’ people can see like a colorblind person?

  3. Daniel Fluck Post author

    Willem, nice idea with the glasses. But I never heard of anything like that. Usually they try it the otherway around: There are some lenses which should enhance color vision abilities of the colorblind.

  4. Daniel Fluck Post author

    Yes, I know about this website and wrote an article about it which you can find here.

    The algorithms are much easier to use on a computer. With glasses you need some special filters to get the same effect. Maybe its possible, would be interesting to know more about it.

    But on the other hand I suppose nobody could really make a profit from such glasses. Therefore nobody produces them (yet?).

  5. Colorhandicapped

    I had to post here after reading. I have battling red-green colorblindness since I found out about that I had it.

    People don’t even seem to realize its a handicap :(

    I can still pass the driving test but cannot read all the plates of the the Ischira test.

    To the above comment about glasses: unfortunately, there is no cure for your color blindness. However, I believe, special glasses can be constructed that change the hue of colors, so instead of red-green, your blindness may be shifted a to some other colors. This combined with normal sight (without glasses) will help you distinguish colors.
    Colorblind glasses need to be prescription based (similar to normal glasses, with a number). This is because this ‘shifting of hue’ has to be tuned to degree of your blindness. We could also have off-the shelf glasses with a ‘knob’ to adjust this shift. Perhaps someone will come up with it.

    Interestingly, there is a nice software called “Eyepilot” ( with just this knob for your computer. I have tried it and its awesome. I never realized how many different colors these icons on Windows are until I used that software.
    (Its not free unfortunately)

    Another suggestion: Red-green is most common blindness. Why the hell are the traffic lights red-green instead of red-blue or something??? Same with the wires.