The Significance of Color

We all know that color is one of the key components in design. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then color is the font. But not everyone sees color the same way. According to, 1 in 255 women and 1 in 12 men are affected with some sort of color vision deficiency. Our eyes have three cones that, when working together, detect all the colors of the visible light spectrum. Color-blindness occurs when one or more of those cones isn’t functioning properly.

Because we don’t all see colors the same way, designers need to take extra precautions when choosing color for design. This relates back to the Principles of Universal Design that I talked about in an earlier post. You can make a design more color-blind friendly by using a combination of symbols and colors, rather than just color alone. Textures and patterns are another good way of adding contrast to a design with color. Since color-blindness people in different ways, it is nearly impossible to consider everyone when picking colors. But there are a few particular color combinations that are known to cause issues with color-blind users:

  • Green & Red
  • Green & Brown
  • Blue & Purple
  • Green & Blue
  • Light Green & Yellow
  • Blue & Grey
  • Green & Grey
  • Green & Black

Are you one of the many affected by color-blindness? Take the test at the Huffington Post.