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Color blindness

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Only curious.

About 2% of the population is colour blind for some colour or another. I was wondering how often do you find them and how do you deal with them (if you do)?

I tend to be cautious when I am doing something addressed to many people, trying to find colour combinations that will be seen by everyone. There are a number of websites with information on colour management for colour-blindness but I always lose the links among so many and have to look'em up again every time.

Great question!  That number actually seems rather low to me, but then again most of the numbers I've seen seem to relate especially to European-ancestral populations.

To preface, I don't have color blindness myself.  I've had the opportunity to discuss this topic at some length with several friends that have one type or another of color blindness.  This is still a very limited knowledge base though, so please don't think I'm speaking for everyone or with any degree of real-life or professional qualifications. 

I think it's really important to be aware of how people with color blindness might perceive your work, but in calligraphy it's probably not as significant a consideration as it would be for, say, painting or color-coded instruction manuals and such.  From what I understand after speaking to several friends with at least one type of color blindness, I think as long as you have a good degree of contrast between your ink, or inks, and the paper, there won't be any loss of understanding.  If you were to use a gold or reddish color, or a green on an ivory envelope, that might look a bit "mucky" to folks with (at least) red-green color blindness for example. 

Do you use a complicated palette in your calligraphy?

I am colorblind, and have always enjoyed calligraphy.  While I have had to learn to see things differently (red is always on the top of a traffic light, green is always on the bottom) calligraphy has never been an issue, even when reading watercolor.  The contrast of light to dark (or vice-versa) has always been significant enough to allow me to see what has been written.

@zonderling That's great to know!  Thank you so much for sharing.  It's infinitely valuable to hear from someone with actual experience of the subject at hand.

Well, I do tend to stick to few colors, usually black, blue and red. But that's when I want to be "austere" (most of the time).

OTOH, when I want to be "fancy", I like to mix colors: as in medioeval manuscrips, I like to use a color for capitals, enhance words or sentences with color (green, red), or passages (blue, black, sepia/browns), and illustrate here and there (capitals, drawings, mixing colors).

As a rule, I prefer to err on the austere side; yet, I can't but realize that a series of poems looks better with color combinations and drawings than merely using black all the time. Think, for instance of "The Hunting of the Snark", "Le Petit Prince" or "10 poemas de amor y una canción desesperada": yeah, they'll look nice in black, but wouldn't color add another dimension?

Hence the question.


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