A Red Dichromat’s Response to the Paperbook Book, “Seeing Color Colorblind“
My initial attempt to create diptychs that covered a large range of colors, including skin tones, to show the normal-visioned world how someone with a specific type of color deficient vision sees the world, was with my son, who is a red dichromat.
We had a fairly easy time working in the RGB color space of projected light on our monitors, working at a distance. We were pleased with that result, which became the Kindle edition of the book.
We both wanted a physical edition, especially so that it could be shared in schools, physicians’ offices, and a whole variety of places where it would be helpful for people to understand the world of color deficient vision. Producing a printed volume presented some very real difficulties for two very different pairs of eyes! Photo books, using ICC profiles for the different print companies I tried, did not work at all with my son’s vision. That surprised me a lot. In the end, the process that worked the best was simple four color printing (CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow, black, which forms the basis of the reflected light color wheels) in paperback rather than photo book form. The overall number of colors he sees is so limited compared to people with normal vision, the more complex printing simply was not good for this purpose. In the long run, a benefit of this is that the paperback book cost much less to produce and thus is potentially available to a much wider audience.
We both had a sense of accomplishment when the series of diptychs matched to my son’s eyes. But, there remained one issue. The diptych on the cover, which was the exact image included in the interior, did not look at all right to him. That cover was glossy, and it just added more complexity to the visual input. So, we tried the matte cover. That was exactly what his eyes needed! Much to my surprise, I actually like the effect artistically. We finally had achieved a physical edition!
This was my red dichromat’s response when we had the final version:
Great! I hope that the book interests people, as well as maybe teachers, schools, pediatricians and anyone else who’s around or deals with colorblind young people! I remember getting sent to the principal’s office by a teacher who didn’t know any better who sent me to the principal multiple times for coloring things incorrectly – she alleged I was being disobedient, when really I was coloring the best I could based on how I saw things.
The book is great – all the respective pairs of images look the same to me (thanks for the many, many revisions to the Kindle as well as the print versions based on my feedback).
This book will help people (who care) interact with colorblind people who are young, old, and somewhere in between.
While there are several types or kinds of colorblindness, this addresses the most common type, red-green, at its extreme form, which is how I see things!
At minimum, people who read this will hopefully finally realize that color blind people DO see color, they merely see it differently from people with “normal” color vision. It would be an amazing accomplishment if the general public would realize this!
The only thing I can think of to add to the written portions of the book would be to add something to describe how colorblind people have been used for decades for military applications such as locating enemy positions because of the ability to see camouflage amidst nature, and how other governmental agencies use colorblind people for special applications, such as the FAA, etc.
Thanks again, Ma, for taking on this project, doing such a great job with it, and having the patience to make all of the many, many adjustments to the image pairs to get them just right, so that those who might be interested in what colorblindness is and what it really looks like can better understand it and will at least understand that colorblind people DO NOT see things in black and white, like the long out-dated televisions commonly referred to in conversations regarding colorblindness.
I was pleased with my red dichromat’s response. Thank you, Brandt!