Cracking the Colour Code

The Famous Colour London Tube Map
The Famous London Tube Map

I watched “Cracking the Colour Code” last night on SBS.  (Here’s a review.) The program was about the science of colour which I was taught in design college, rods and cones and the mechanics of how the eyes see. It reminded me of an important step in the web design process.

We have all heard the arguments around accessibility. So we think about design for the visioned and the readability of code for the blind. But there are a significant number of people who are colour blind, one million Australians according to the program.

A man who is colour blind was speaking about design and how people should be mindful of what they produce.  He highlighted just how important colour choice is in design, particularly web design. People can have red/green colour blindness or blue/yellow colour blindness. So much information can be lost to these people.

Theory breaks design into the fundamentals of colour, line, texture, shape and space. But when it comes to web design I think we must prioritise hierarchy to denote importance through size and think about contrast.

It’s simple to test and tweak a design for better contrast. Just greyscale your final design.

Tube map in grey (Demo purposes only. Of course the Tube provide a high contrast black and white version)
Tube map in grey (Demo purposes only. Of course the Tube provide a high contrast black and white version)

If you missed the program, it was part one of a series so watch it next Wednesday on SBS at 8:30pm.

Comments

kristin rohan
Reply

hey eri on the interweb,

that is quite interesting. i haven’t really thought about it but will be mindful when i do charts, etc.

very thought-provoking and useful – keep it coming!

cheers,
k

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