Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deciding on the safety colors for the team jerseys

The design to put on the jerseys is still in the works, but we surely want to use the type of colors that the drivers can easily see.

This commonly means bright orange like a road cone, bright green, or pink.

It is however a concern for about 5% of males who are color blind because the common colors listed above can easily match the background colors. And it always can take just one driver to hit a rider.

The most common type of color blindness is red-green blindness. It varies a lot between people, depending if they are missing the red cones, missing the green cones, or have cones with an altered sensitivity to red or green light. It is believed that Mavis's father's colorblindness is due to a complete lack of red-sensitive cones, because he usually sees red as black and can’t see at all when in a darkroom with a red safe light as the only light source. He can see a red traffic light by its position in the signal and the fact that it looks lighter than the other two when it is on, probably because it is not pure red. (He also don't really know what green actually is. Sometimes he called something green, sometimes not. He also called most tan colors "green".) About 1% of males are colorblind for this reason, which leaves the other ~4% with other reasons, so Mavis's father's answers may be different from others’. Still, his answers are possibly a good guide when it comes to picking out really “bright” colors.

There is a reason why we usually see white/bright orange being used at road constructions instead of plain bright orange: Mavis's father sees muddy brownish cones!

According to Mavis's father, the other common safety colors looks like:

Bright green--the very bright greenish yellow sometimes look yellow to him and is visible. Other kinds of bright to medium greens may look brownish.
Red--he said bright to medium red is black. If it’s a dull red, it may look brown.
Pink--He usually thinks it is gray, sometimes blue if the pink has a blue cast to it as cactus blossoms do.

The safety colors believed to work for 99.5% of people:

White
Yellow
Blue (light blue may work)
(0.5% can't see blue)
Neon Yellowish-green
Light gray
(but not around light gray backgrounds!)

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