Can a Colorblind Person Become a Designer?
There is no restriction for colorblind people to be designers in any field.
If a colorblind person has mastered the designing skills he/she just might have some challenges when it comes to choosing the right color for projects, which is an easy thing to solve.
If you are colorblind and you are interested to become a designer, but you are not sure if it's a good fit for you, this article will set you on the right path.
How Did I Master Working With Colors as a Colorblind Designer?
I am a colorblind designer with more than 15 years of experience in different fields of art, and design. I was always passionate about buildings and design, so I decided to study architecture as my major at university.
During my studies selecting colors for my projects wasn't my biggest challenge in comparison to all the other knowledge I had to acquire as an architect. Paying attention to details, learning all the necessary measurements, and finding my favorite style were my true challenges in the beginning. This would be the same for anyone who enters other fields of design as well.
Whenever I had some difficulty choosing colors, my friends were there to help me and I never thought that I should learn more about colors and color theory instead I simply ignored colors. So I didn't realize what was waiting for me after the university when I got my first client for a project in the real world.
Long story short, It was so many mistakes related to choosing colors for my projects and so much pressure at the workplace. It killed my confidence, made me feel 'I'm not good enough', and finally after 3 years of fighting with colors I quit my job and started changing working fields whenever this challenge was presented again for the next 10 years!
This situation has actually helped me to work under less pressure and learn more about colors and how to use them correctly, since everything I was passionate about somehow always involved colors.
For example, when I worked in the advertising field as a colorblind graphic designer and 3D illustrator, that experience has helped me to learn more about the psychology of colors and how colors can impact sales in different industries.
Designing websites and applications as a UI/UX designer taught me that colors are a huge part of product identity and how people remember brands by their colors.
After all of those years and experiences, my feeling toward colors started to change, I've gained a very different perspective about being a colorblind designer. After several years of improving my understanding and skills working with colors has made me a pro along with my creative skills. Nowadays I can proudly say that it's impossible to guess that I'm a colorblind designer.
The question you should aske yourself is "How bad do you want to be a designer? I couldn't imagine myslef to have any job that didn't involve design or creativity.
The more creative you are, the better you will be at what you are doing.
Colors are an important part of any designing career, but creativity and skills are what make you successful. Instead of concentrating on not seeing some colors, you should understand and focus on whether you have the potential skills for the field that you wish to get in.
In some fields of design such as fashion design or publication, companies hire color professionals that work specifically on matching correct colors. So your job would only require you to be creative and come up with concepts & ideas.
For some companies like video games and marketing companies, it's good to have a colorblind designer in the team to design colorblind-friendly products and ads. Don't forget that 8% of the male population are colorblind and it's a huge number of users in any field.
The Secret of Selecting Colors as a Colorblind Designer
As a colorblind designer, you need to know 3 important things about colors to overcome color-related challenges in any field
Selecting Colors Correctly
Testing Colors by Available Tools
1. COLOR MATCHING
We all heard when people talk about matching colors they would say "this color is going well with this color", It is called color matching.
Colors are perceived differently from person to person, both technically and from an emotional standpoint. This is why color matching is so important.
A person's psychological reaction to color is what makes color matching so important. Color is a type of art, similar to music, poetry, or dance. Therefore, it should aim to please the senses and evoke emotion. For example green makes people think of nature, and black presents a feeling of power. 1
How to Use the Perfect Color Combination?
Color theory is a practical combination of art and science that’s used to determine what colors look good together. Designers use the color wheel to create different color combinations to create a particular look or feel.
You can use a color wheel to find color harmonies by using the rules of color combinations. Color combinations determine the relative positions of different colors in order to find colors that create a pleasing effect. 2
There are so many beautiful color combinations in nature, you can always take those combinations as an example to understand how does color matching works.
Tools for Colorblind Designers
There are plenty of websites that generate different color combinations to use
In most projects, clients already have their brand color/s and all you need is to create a few color palettes to agree on. You can simply create several color palettes by using the websites mentioned above and present them to your client. From that point you just need to use those colors only.
2. SELECTING COLORS CORRECTLY
When it comes to selecting colors in different software, here is where most colorblind designers make mistakes. When they select a blue color it might be purple, or when they select a yellow color it can be green (depending on the types of color blindness).
There is a simple solution to select the right color in any color picker section of all the software.
Most of the software uses several color systems to select the right color and if you learn how they work it would solve this problem forever.
HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness)
HEX (Hexadecimal values)
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key)
If you don't know anything about these color systems it might look so complicated at first, but when you learn about them you can easily select any color and be sure about your results.
I will give you an example so you can see how easy it is.
Personally, I use HSB and HEX systems most of the time. HEX system is a 6 digit number and alphabet to define the color, It is so useful when you work with developers to design websites and applications. HSB code for the red color in the color picker is (0,100,100), and the HEX code is (ff0000).
H (Hue) in the HSB color system is a number from 0 to 360 to define the range of each color according to the placement of colors on the color wheel circle ( a circle is 360 degrees).
How to Find Color Codes
If you want to select a color you have two options by using color codes:
The first one is to search on Google for the color codes and you will find all the codes for different shades of a color. You can even use google search images and download some of the pictures with different color codes on them to have it all on your computer to prevent searching every time and will save you a lot of time.
The second solution is to memorize the hue number in HSB codes. H=0 is red, H=30 is orange, H=60 is yellow, etc. And by changing S (saturation) and B (brightness) you can select different shades and tints.
You can purchase this mug with different color codes (HEX, and RGB) to have them all on your desk while you are having your coffee every day.
If you want to select a color you see on any website you can install the Eye dropper extension on Google chrome.
You can purchase different color name stickers by clicking here
3. TESTING COLORS BY AVAILABLE TOOLS
As a colorblind designer, you need to make sure that all the colors are correct in your projects. We can make sure about our color selection with a few available tools for colorblind designers.
WhatColor identifies the color of the pixel on the screen of your PC (windows). This software will tell you the color name that your mouse is pointed to, and it will provide the RGB code as well.
ColorNamePicker is a simple little plugin to find the name of any color on your screen.
Color Name Detector
Simple tool for detecting color names! (Mac App Store) Link
If you are a colorblind designer or you want to choose a career in design, then you need to learn about colors. By investing some time to master colors you will not face many challenges that I did at the beginning of my career journey.
You can sign up for an online course that is designed for the colorblind designers/artist to learn everything about colors and how to use them in any projects. This training will only take you a few days. I recommend you learn more about this course by clicking here.
If you wanted to be a Graphic Designer, 3D Illustrator, Architect or Interior Designer, Tattoo Artist, Photographer, Video Editor, Painter, Fashion Consultant, or other color-related careers, this course is for you!
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