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Color Basics for the Display Designer

  • Jan Walraven
Part of the Defense Research Series book series (DRSS, volume 3)

Abstract

Color provides a powerful tool for the display designer, but, like any tool, it may also be counterproductive when not used with the necessary skill. Anybody with some experience in this field knows how the indiscriminate use of too many and too vivid colors may wreck an otherwise good display design. Often the mistakes that are made could easily have been avoided, by just common sense and looking critically at the display. For example, it does not take an expert’s eye to see that a colored symbol, say a white cursor, that looks fine on a blue background, may become hardly noticeable when viewed against a bright yellow. However, common sense is not enough when not combined with some basic knowledge of the physics, physiology, and perception of color. This is particularly true when colors appear different from what one would expect on the basis of their stimulus specifications. Best known in this respect is the effect of chromatic induction, the change in color that results when a color is surrounded by another color. But this is only one of a variety of perceptual artifacts that may be encountered on a color display (Walraven, 1985a, 1985b)—not to mention the problem of defective color vision, a handicap that applies to about 8% of the potential users of color-coded displays.

Keywords

Color Vision Optical Society Luminance Contrast McCollough Effect Chromaticity Diagram 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Walraven
    • 1
  1. 1.TNO Institute for PerceptionSoesterbergThe Netherlands

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