Monday, August 2, 2010

Color Blind- Their True Colors

As a colorist, whose livelihood depends on the ability to differentiate between colors and all their subtleties, I’m intrigued with the ten percent among us, known as the “Color Blind.”

My curiosity with the Color Blind began as a child, when my friend Ronnie invited me to his grandmother’s farm and apple orchard.

His grandmother said “here’s a pail. I’ll give the person a prize that comes back first with a full pail of Red Delicious Apples.” This immediately became a challenge. With pails in hand, we trudged off in opposite directions into the orchard. He yelled “I beat you; my pail is full” Ronnie proudly carried them into his grandmother’s kitchen. Instead of his grandmother praising, for picking apples in record time, she scolded him for picking green (unripe) apples. Little did grandma know Ronnie, was color-blind; he couldn’t differentiate between red and green.

Color Blindness is an over looked disability; it gets little notoriety or financial support. Sadly, it’s also something that people, tend to poke fun at.


• Eight to ten percent of men are color-blind; only five percent of women are.
• Less than one percent of the color-blind can only see black and white.

• A male inherits his color-blindness from his mother, whose vision is normal.

• Everyone is color-blind at birth.

• Bulls are color-blind. The movement of the bull fighter’s red cape is what angers him and not the actual color.

• Color-blind American military men, during World War II, were sent on special missions. Their inability to see green, led to an increased ability to see through camouflage.

• Color Blindness can be acquired through injury or disease. However in most cases it’s hereditary and present since birth.

• Hereditary Color Blindness is caused by the chromosomal differences between males and females, in which the condition typically is passed from a mother her sons.


• John Dalton, developer of the atomic structure theory

• Bing Crosby, singer

• Mark Twain, author

• Matt Lauer, TV news caster

• Bob Dole, politician

• Mr. Rogers, actor

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