Creating Graphic Design and Illustration for Color-Blind People

Designers and illustrators have the important task of conveying their art to color-blind people. These people suffer from a condition that makes them unable to see colors. However, they also enjoy art, and it is essential to consider how to best enable them to interpret illustrations without the ability to view color. According to experts from http://ilustra.co.uk, understanding various solutions to reaching these people will go a long way in making things far easier. This publication will explore some of these solutions.

Understanding Different Types of Color Blindness

Before you can create a design or any other artwork for a color-blind person, it is crucial to understand their condition. Scientific and biological tests show that people can have different types of color blindness.

  • Complete color blindness – monochromacy, as it is commonly known, is a condition where an affected person only sees things in black and white. The color-blind person does not see any other color at all. The shades range from black to white.
  • Blue-yellow color blindness – this condition occurs because of the limited functionality of the ability to see blue things. It makes blue objects appear as if they were a shade of yellow.
  • Red-green color blindness – this is a more common condition. The person will usually see all red and orange objects as if they were green.

Solutions for Color-Blind People

The designers and illustrators need to know whether the clients they are trying to reach have a problem identifying colors or not. This is the only way that they will know which solution to put in place. Luckily, technology has made things much easier for such concerns. With the right tools, both parties will have an easy time before, during and after the art project.

Online color-blindness simulators can convert normal artwork into an image that appears as color-blind people would see it. They present a work board with a side by side conversion from the original work to the color-blind version. Others allow conversion only when there is a need. All in all, these simulators have come in handy for many people. The simulators allow artists to see their artwork as color-blind people would. They require internet connectivity, but they are the most accurate. As an illustrator, you need to register with one of the best so that you can use it when you have clients who are color blind.

The best thing about color-blindness apps and software is that they can be used offline. They have various capabilities to address different conditions. However, some of them can be limited, and you ought to know whether the one you have will suit the client at hand.

Conclusion

Illustrators and artists will only have an easy time if they understand the particular type of color blindness experienced by their client. This way, they will know which simulator or app to use. Patience is key because things may sometimes be complicated. A big screen may be necessary rather than a regular laptop so that the side by side comparison is possible. With these tips, any illustrator will increase the satisfaction level of their color-blind clients.



Teoría del color para daltónicos

(English version at the bottom)

Rhea Lelina Mangaplus es una ex diseñadora gráfica de Apple con un proyecto personal de lo más interesante. Ha creado una presentación Motion Graphics que resume en poco más de minuto y medio las bases de la teoría del color. Un repaso a la teoría del color nunca viene mal, pero me ha recordado algunas de las limitaciones que tenemos los daltónicos en fotografía y diseño cuando queremos ir más allá del blanco y negro. He pensado que era un buen momento para comentar algunas de las herramientas que he usado o uso en el día a día por si os pudieran ser de utilidad. 

Descartando el Photoshop, que si bien es extremadamente potente no siempre es útil, pero sin salirnos de Adobe, una herramienta que utilizo bastante tanto para fotografía como para diseño es el Adobe Color CC o Adobe Kuler. Con ella podemos crear esquemas de color propios a partir de una sola muestra y acoplarlos a nuestras necesidades. Podemos trabajar con complementarios, análogos o triadas que nos el programa combinará de manera automática.

Por mi parte uso principalmente dos opciones, el Crear desde imagen, que me permite arrastrar una imagen y crear una gama de colores a partir de ella. Esto me da las herramientas para elegir colores y diseñar dentro del esquema de la propia fotografía. También me permite crear uno propio para compartir con mis colaboradores. Es una buena solución para hacer llegar a otros la idea que tienes en mente a través de colores naturales, reales por llamarlo de alguna forma. Funciona sobre todo cuando trabajo con retocadores.

Otra herramienta imprescindible aun dentro de este programa es Explorar temas, un botón que tenemos que agradecer a la comunidad de Kuler y que sin duda os tendrá un rato navegando. Ahí podremos encontrar esquemas de color que los usuarios crean y comparten de manera desinteresada y que son un magnífica fuente de inspiración. 

Todavía dentro de la línea Adobe podemos encontrar su aplicación Adobe Capture CC. Tiene buena pinta pero todavía no he podido probarla. Si alguien la prueba que por favor lo comparta. Os dejo el vídeo de presentación, seguro que nos será de utilidad. 

También podemos encontrar temas creados a partir de fotografías en las redes sociales. La que más utilizo y veo más interesante es Pinterest; en ella podemos encontrar excelentes fotografías con su esquema de color. La técnica para usarlas siendo daltónico viene a ser la misma que comentaba antes, elige tu tema o motivo y prepara un esquema de color que se adecue. Yo suelo usarlo para pedir complementos del color necesario. Por cierto que podéis seguir mi panel de esquemas de color en mi Pinterest.

Un último recurso, el impresionante y no tan útil para daltónicos Pantone. Es cierto que crean y estudian tendencias que luego publican en la web (un tanto a medias para mi gusto), pero la verdad es que partir de cero con una tabla de sus colores en mano me parece complicado. Sin embargo es una herramienta muy útil para llegar a entenderte con un cliente en términos de color meramente numéricos.

¿Tenéis alguna herramienta de uso diario relacionada con el color? Comentadla o enviadme un correo y la compartimos con el mundo.  

El vídeo de Rhea lo he visto vía no me toques las helvéticas


English version

Rhea Lelina Mangaplus is an ex Apple’s graphic designer with a very interesting personal project. She has created a Motion Graphics presentation that summarizes in about a minute and a half the bases of color theory. It’s always useful to make a brief review of color theory but it made me notice about some of the limitations we have when we want to work with color. So I thought it would be a good moment to share some of the tools and ideas I use.

Discarding Photoshop, a very powerful tool but not always useful, but still in Adobe’s there is a quite useful tool I use to design and to prepare my photography: Adobe Color CC or Adobe Kuler. Using Kuler we can create our own color schemes from a single sample and adapt them to our needs. We can work on complementary, analogous or triadic that the program will combine automatically.

I mainly use two options. The first one is Create from image, that allows you to drag, drop and create a color scheme from it. This gives me the tools to choose and design with colors from the picture. I can also create one to share with my team members. This one is a good option to share your ideas with others through colors taken from the nature. It works quite well when you are not the one retouching your own pictures. 

Another useful tool from the program is Theme Explorer (sorry, just translated it from Spanish) there we will find lots of color schemes done and shared by Kuler’s users. It’s great for inspiration. You will be for sure hooked there a while investigating. 

Still talking about Adobe we find a new app, Adobe Capture CC. It looks useful but I haven’t been able to try it yet. If anyone has tried or does it pleas share the experience. You can find the video above. 

We can also find color schemes in the different social platforms. The one I like and use the most is Pinterest; there we can find a lot of pictures with it’s color scheme attached. The way to use it being colorblind is the same one I explained above, choose tour theme and prepare a color scheme based on it. What I do is to ask for accessories matching the chosen color. You can have a look at my Pinterest color schemes panel if you want.

One last resource, the impressive and not always so useful for colorblind Pantone. The company studies and creates they own color tendencies, they also publish them on their web but for me they publish only half of what they should. Check it and draw your own conclusions. However it really is a good tool to communicate with your clients in plain numeric color terms. 

Do you have any special tool to deal with color? Just let me know and we will share it with the world. 

I’ve seen Rhea’s video at No me toques las helvéticas



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