Category Archives: professional

colour and accessibility

Just came a across a superb article by Geri Coady, a designer and illustrator living in Newfoundland (Canada) about the importance of designers taking into account the fact that about 5% of the population in the world are colour blind. Well, it’s mainly men of course ….. but that’s all the more reason to take into account [joking].

Some really excellent advice about how to take colour blindness into account in design work. She talks about problems with the use of colour in London’s iconic underground map (see my blog about colour blindness and maps). She also comments on a game (Faster than Light) that has a colour-blind mode; I mentioned last week that SimCity was doing something similar. About time. It’s so lazy not to take colour blindness into account in the digital environment. There are also some great links to simulators.

Colour qualification

Did you know you can get a qualification in colour. See Graham Clayton’s colour blog for more details. Graham is Chief Executive of the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) and regularly blogs about colour. I am a Fellow of the SDC myself and have been involved in the organisation since 1982 believe it or not – more than 30 years!!!!

colour conference in UK


In July of this year the UK is hosting the 12th International Congress of the International Colour Association. We have received over 600 submissions from people who would like to present their work and so it looks as though we can have a very successful conference. If you have an interest in colour then this is the place to be this year – for further details visit

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new colour blogs

Readers may be interested in a new colour-related blog by the SDC’s Chief Executive Graham Clayton. The SDC – the Society of Dyers and Colourists – is the world’s leading independent educational charity dedicated to advancing the science and technology of colour worldwide. It is a professional, chartered Society and becoming a member gives access to SDC’s professional coloration qualifications. I have been a member since about 1982 and I am a Chartered Colourist and a Fellow of the SDC.

I also recently came across another colour blog called chromatic notes. It’s not clear from the web site who runs this blog but there is a great deal of technical information there.



The 12th International Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC) is taking place in July next year in the UK. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 17th December 2012 so there is not much time. Please visit for further information about how to submit abstracts and about how to get involved generally. The Congress will be held in Gateshead which is on the opposite side of the river to Newcastle and will take place in the iconic Sage conference centre. Attending AIC is a great way to meet other people who share your interest in colour.

The evolution of colour in design from the 1950s to today

I am editor for an academic journal about colour – the Journal of the International Colour Association. We just published our 8th issue today which is a special issue containing some of the best papers from the VI conference of the Italian Colour Group. Readers of this blog will probably particularly enjoy the paper by Francesca Valan on The evolution of colour in design from the 1950s to today. Valan introduces the notion of chromatic cycles and observes that the higher the chroma the shorter the duration of the trend. Some interesting predictions are made about the popularity of certain colours in the near future. To see this and all the other papers from this issue click here.