The purpose of a design is to convey a message attractively. If a part of the society cannot fully grasp or enjoy it, is it really effective? Well, the obvious answer is no. As a designer, you must strive to be as inclusive of all types of audience as you can.
Color blindness refers to a reduction in the ability to differentiate between certain colors. Red and green color blindness is the most common. While it’s not a major disability, it does affect their routine functions to quite an extent.
There are almost 300 million people worldwide who are color blind. You cannot afford to slack off and lose out on this huge chunk of the population. We have curated a few tips and tricks to help you design colorblind-friendly graphics. Read further if you wish to design better for the color blind.
Select Color Combinations Carefully
Color blindness affects people in varied ways. This makes it highly complex to ascertain which color combinations are foolproof. However, you should avoid using the following colors together, as they generally pose an issue.
- Green and brown.
- Green and blue.
- Red and green.
- Pink and grey.
- Purple and blue.
- Blue and grey
- Yellow and lighter shades of green.
- Black and green.
- Grey and green.
People with color blindness often see these colors as similar shades. When there are so many pretty colors to choose from, why rely on these combinations? Going for colors that suit everyone will not only expand your consumer base but also prove that you value and respect your audience.
Avoid Using Too Many Colors
You should always base your designs on 2 or 3 complementing colors. This tip will not only make your design better for the color blind but also ensure that it looks classy and simple. Minimalism is the way forward, and it's trendy.
You can also create monochromatic designs by using multiple shades of the same color. It will in no way sacrifice the aesthetics. Instead, it will make your content more uniform and stylish. Using too many colors looks gaudy and tasteless.
Keeping your infographics simple and streamlining them is recommended as it elevates readability. It also adds aesthetic value to your design.
Play With Patterns And Textures
We advise that you don’t rely solely on colors for imparting information. You can add contrast to your designs using various patterns and textures. This way, you can raise the readability and understandability of your content.
When it comes to charts and graphs, this technique is a definite winner. It also gives additional leverage to certain colors as the unique patterns can help color blind people differentiate between them.
If you cannot avoid the aforementioned color combinations, you can add different textures and patterns to them. As, even if some people can't see the colors with clarity, they can at least differentiate based on patterns.
The Red And Green Dilemma
Protanope and Deuternope type color blindness make it extremely difficult to differentiate between red and green hues. This is why using red and green together is never a great option. Some people would see both colors as a shade of brown.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot use these colors in the same design at all. You just have to steer clear of using them when the purpose of color is to help people differentiate. If a comparison is not the purpose, you can use them cautiously.
You can also alleviate this issue by labeling the data. Adding icons and arrows is also an option if the design permits.
Utilize Highly Contrasting Colors
Levels of brightness and saturation can be moderated to make the design better for the color blind. Colorblind people generally don't face any problem in differentiating between contrasts. Use dark and light shades of colors to elevate the contrast.
In addition to this, you can also use symbols and icons. They reduce their dependence on colors. Sometimes the text color and background color combination pose a problem for color blind people—for example, green text on black background.
Here, adding symbols and icons can make the inference of information easier. That being said, it’s always better to start with unproblematic color combinations.
Black And White Themes
Colorblind people have a problem with certain color combinations. As mentioned above, they have no issues in identifying contrasts. So, the higher the contrast, the better.
They perceive black and white pictures and infographics just like anyone else. In fact, they have a sharper vision in terms of contrast. This makes the classic black and white theme a great option for the color blind audience.
It’s the responsibility of a graphic designer to be as inclusive of everyone as possible. Keeping all our tips in mind will assist you in making a design better for the color blind. It will ensure that all types of people get to understand your work.