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Monday, August 4, 2014

How is Your Color Vision?

Very often in the Paper Industry we make visual evaluations of the product we are making. When this is done, we assume we are all seeing the same thing, however, we are not. One common reason is that some people have poor color vision.

'Color Blindness' (color deficiency) affects approximately 8-10% of men and 0.5% of women. There are different causes of color blindness. For the vast majority of people with deficient color vision the condition is genetic and has been inherited from their mother, although some people become color blind as a result of other diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis or they acquire the condition over time due to the aging process, medication etc.

Most color blind people are able to see things as clearly as other people but they unable to fully ‘see’ red, green or blue light. There are different types of color blindness and there are extremely rare cases where people are unable to see any color at all.

The most common form of color blindness is known as red/green color blindness and most color blind people suffer from this. Although known as red/green color blindness this does not mean sufferers mix up red and green, it means they mix up all colors which have some red or green as part of the whole color. For example, a red/green color blind person will confuse a blue and a purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the color purple. See the example of pink, purple and blue pen cases below to understand this effect.
Normal Color Vision

Deuteranopia








Similar problems can arise across the whole color spectrum affecting all reds, greens, oranges, browns, purples, pinks and greys. Even black can be confused as dark green or dark blue.

The effects of color vision deficiency can be mild, moderate or severe so, for example, approximately 40% of color blind pupils currently leaving secondary school are unaware that they are color blind, while 60% of sufferers experience many problems in everyday life.

Statistically speaking most people with a moderate form of red/green color blindness will only be able to identify accurately 5 or so colored pencils from a standard box of 24 pencil crayons. Depending upon which type of the condition a color blind person is suffering from they could see the set of pencil crayons similarly to the following images.
Normal Color Vision
Deuteranopia










Protanopia

Tritanopia










If you are asking your production, sales, customer service and other employees to make color determinations visually, maybe it's time you tested your employees for color deficiencies.