Color Design for the Color Vision Impaired

  • Bernhard Jenny
  • Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso


Eight percent of men are affected by color vision impairment – they have difficulties distinguishing between colors and thus confuse certain colors that the majority of people see readily. Designers of maps and information graphics cannot disregard the needs of this relatively large group of media consumers. This article discusses the most common forms of color vision impairment, and introduces Color Oracle, a new software tool that assists the designer in verifying color schemes. Color Oracle filters maps and graphics in real-time and efficiently integrates with existing digital workflows. The paper also discusses color combinations and alternative visual variables for map symbology that those with color vision impairments can distinguish unambiguously. The presented techniques help the cartographer produce maps that are easy to read for those with color vision impairments and can still look good for those with normal color vision.
How to Cite
Jenny, B., & Kelso, N. V. (2007). Color Design for the Color Vision Impaired. Cartographic Perspectives, (58), 61-67.
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