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One of the challenges about working with color as designer is trying to visualize how other people are going to see that color as well. This is especially important in environmental graphics or in creating artwork that is going to be used in public places. For example, things like infographics and signage. While making sure that the colors that you see on your screen do reproduce correctly there is another issue, which is how other people will perceive those colors. Specifically there are people in the world who are colorblind or are deficient in seeing certain types of colors. Now while you certainly can't make sure that if one sees the exact same color you can at least ensure that you used the correct contrast in your designs that no matter how other people will perceive it the information in your graphic will still be transferred.
To make it easier for a designer to create high contrast art that even someone who is colorblind can still be able to see, Adobe has added additional proofing profiles inside of Illustrator. For example, if I go here to the View menu and I choose Proof Setup I see that I have two Color blindness settings. One for Protanopia and one for Deuteranopia, both of these which are the most common types of color blindness. Now before I turn this proofing on I'm actually going to setup my document in a way where I could easily make adjustments to make sure that I use the right contrast in my design. I'll start up by zooming out just a little bit and I'm going to go to my Window menu and I'm going to choose a New Window. And now, I'll have created a second window for my single file and I go here to the Application Bar, I'm going to choose this option for 2-Up.
So now I'm basically seeing the same piece of artwork but in two separate windows. So I click on this one here and position my artwork just about right over here and I'll do the same for down over here. Now in this bottom window I'm now going to choose to go to my View menu, choose Proof Setup and I'll set my proof setups for this Protanopia type. What I'm seeing here in the window below is exactly the way my artwork would appear to a person with this type of color blindness. Now obviously the contrast is not high enough for me to easily differentiate between the rays here and the background. So I'm going to go back to my original design here in this window. It's really the same file but without a proofing profile, and I'll select my artwork by pressing Command+A on the Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows.
What I'm going to do is use the Recolor Artwork feature to help me adjust the colors so that they have enough contrast in them. So I'll click on the Recolor Artwork button here in the control panel, which opens up the Recolor Artwork dialog box, and I'll switch to the Edit tab. Now I can click on this color right over here on my color wheel and I see that right now I'm using the Hue, Saturation and Brightness sliders at the bottom. By just moving the Saturation values of some of my colors I can now introduce a higher contrast version of my artwork. For example, I'll just increase the saturation a little bit that I have increased the contrast enough, so even a person with color blindness will still be able to see those rays.
Maybe I'll bring up the saturation just a little bit more and then I'll click OK to apply it. So if you are in the business of making graphics that a lot of people in public are going to see you may want to consider proofing your artwork using these particular color blindness profiles.
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