Tag Archives: research

Survey about colour

University of Leeds Campus
University of Leeds Campus

I am very lucky to be working with Sea-hwa Won from South Korea who is here in Leeds for three years undertaking a PhD in colour design. Her PhD is about …. well, I can’t tell you that yet because it might influence the answers you give to her on-line survey. She has just launched an on-line survey about colour and product design and it would be great if you would help her research by clicking on the link below and completing the survey. Later, when the survey is complete I will say something about what the research is about.

Click here to take the colour survey. It only takes a minute of your time and for that you will receive the warm glow of satisfaction that you have contributed to the advancement of colour science.

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 http://aic2013.org/

aic_2013_logo_bringing_colour_to_life (1)

What colour is your pen?


A new study by academics at the University of Colorado suggests that the colour ink you use when providing comments and feedback to students can alter their perception of criticism and place unnecessary blame on the teacher for bad marks or feedback. According to the researchers teachers should use a blue pen if they want their comments to be taken in a constructive manner. The full research paper is available online here.



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 http://aic2013.org/ 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.

CGIV Amsterdam

The latest CGIV (European Conference on Colour in Graphics, Imaging, and Vision) conference is taking place in Amsterdam now (6-9 May 2012). CGIV covers a wide range of topics related to colour and visual information, including color science, computational color, color in computer graphics, color reproduction, color vision/psychophysics, color image quality, color image processing, and multispectral color science. For further details see here.

colour maps

Last year a student, Kaori, from Japan spent some time with me at Leeds and we spoke a lot about how to use colour effectively in maps and in urban design generally. One of the issues we were looking at was whether the maps’ features would be discriminable to colour-blind observers (of which, of course, there are many). So I was interested to come across an interesting article today relating to this very issue.

Apparently the following image appeared in the Guardian newspaper:

It’s a colour-coded map of London. It shows areas of deprivation with red being the most deprived. It met with much criticism, however, and many people said they had difficulty in discriminating between the colours. Of course, colour-blind observers most commonly have difficulty discriminating in the red-green region of colour space. The company who made the map engaged in a debate with users on twitter and created variously different coloured versions of the map, subjecting each to the public vote via twitter. The map below is one of the later versions.

For further details please refer to the story at The Guardian here.