6 Colors are Too Many for a Colorblind Guy

I always try to be smart when I use different colors to point out something. But it happens again and again that I still mix up the colors—even if I put together a good strategy.

This time it happened when coloring a simple graphics illustrating a project lifecycle model. It consists of six modules and therefore I was looking for six different colors for coloring them. And this was where the whole problem started.

How can I choose six different colors from a set of about twenty crayons, which I won’t mix up? The simple answer is: I can’t.

I really tried to find colors which are easily distinguishable even for my eyes. But with my color blindness this is almost impossible. I’ve chosen the following colors:

  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Violet
  • Orange
  • Green

I arranged them in the above order to be sure not to mix them up. The color pairs blue/violet, yellow/orange and red/green looked very close to each other for my colorblind eyes.

But of course it didn’t work. Suddenly I didn’t had the correct order anymore and it started to get problematic. So I didn’t color red and green right away, because they are the most problem colors for a red-green colorblind guy like me. I colored them only after my presentation, when there was more time to have a closer look at the crayons.

So everything was perfect now? Unfortunately not. I couldn’t believe it but someone else (with not color vision problem like me) did point out to me, that I colored two modules in blue…

How could I just mix up violet and blue? I used the wrong color again. Unbelievable but I just can’t distinguish six colors.

And what do I learn for the next time: Ask somebody else to do it for you.

2 responses on “6 Colors are Too Many for a Colorblind Guy

  1. Daniel Flueck Post author

    Joe, you’re right. But this are not really six different colors to me. I’m talking about different colors which you can find in every set of crayons, which makes it much more complicated I believe.