I’m color blind. Which isn’t too unusual for men, as you’ll see below. That’s why I’m running this, for us guys who can’t see a red berry in a green bush 25 yards away.
I can tell colors that are lit up, like a traffic light or Christmas lights, and I typically know the color of the shirt I have on and the car I’m in. It’s when colors are mixed that I have trouble differentiating, like those color blindness tests with all the dots in them. I can’t see anything but a bunch of dots while others can clearly see a number, letter or some design.
A couple of weeks ago I had a customer bring a letter to the office that he needed us to print. I asked him about the color, since there were two different shades of blue (I could even tell that). He said he was no help since he was color blind but the letter needed to be all the same blue. I said that made two of us on the color blindness but, fortunately, blue was not a big problem.
Color blindness can be a serious liability in the printing business. We deal in a lot of different ink colors and it pays to know the difference. I overcome it by relying on my co-workers, some of who can tell an extremely dark green from black ... which I can’t.
But now there may be help. That’s why I’m reprinting this article I found on the Internet:
Out in the world, one out of every 10 men have some form of color blindness.
While it’s not the most debilitating genetic irregularity, color blindness can still make everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, difficult. Imagine being color blind and in a gang. That could become downright dangerous.
Then, of course, color blindness becomes a bit of a novelty to “color normals” – as those who can see the full spectrum of colors are known -- when they first come across someone who’s color blind. “What color is my shirt!?” is a favorite question.
But a scientist named Mark Changizi and his partner Tim Barber from 2AI Labs in Boston have created a pair of glasses that may provide a remedy for a certain type of color blindness – the inability to see reds and greens.
According to Changizi, it turns out that color vision is a trait found only in primates with exposed skin as opposed to dogs, which don’t have color vision. We use our color vision to see the subtle variations in blood flow, on, for example, the human face, to sense feelings and emotion.
The glasses were designed to isolate and amplify certain visual characteristics, and were not necessarily intended as a fix for color blindness. But while Changizi and Barber were showing the glasses to individuals around the world, they found that certain people with color blindness could see colors they were otherwise unable to see.
The article did not elaborate on when these glasses might be available for purchase by the public. But I’m sure going to get me a pair when they do, especially if I’m staying in the printing business.