Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Color Blind Relativity

arithmetrictriangle_edited-1.jpgarithmetrictriangle_color-blind-1.jpgOn the left is a color pyramid the way I see it. On the right is the same triangle the way my next door neighbor Steve sees it. Steve is red/green color blind.

When I asked him what it is like to be color blind he said, “See that bush with flowers. They are pink, right? Since everyone tells me they are pink, I call that color – the one that I see – pink. And when I see a dress that’s the same color, I know that it is pink.”

One way to see graphics the way Steve sees them is to test images by using a system like Visicheck.

You can browse for an image and then see how it will look to someone with the three variations of color blindness, deuteranope, protanope, and tritanope. You can also check the colors on your webpage.color-blind-versionwebsafebtlabschart.jpg


The chart to the left shows the original websafe colors. The chart to the right is the same chart as seen by a person with deuteranope.

As you can see in both the websafe chart and the color pyramid, the reds and greens are missing if you are red/green colorblind.

What is left are many variations of what we call yellow, beige, blue and gray but what Steve calls greens, reds, pinks and teals, etc. It’s all relative!


  1. Thank you Maggie. That was a great post. My son has just been diagnosed as red-green colourblind and I’m trying to understand how he perceives the world.

  2. Hi Maggie! It’s great to see you blogging again. And perfect timing… I’ve decided to combine your workshop and Louise’s, and make some etched pc tile mosics! I’ve been poking around looking for some juicy images to come up with some pallets. Your last few blog entries are getting my color muse very excited!

    Oh, and I’ve posted on my blog photos of some of the cuffs I brought to Stresa. So if you’re still interested in swapping, you can check them out here:

    Thanks, again, for a terrific workshop! And I hope to see you in February in Baltimore!! Caio Bella!

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