I assume the folks who design the Seattle Times‘ charts and graphs have had some training or something, because generally their artwork looks very professional. That is, when I can see it.
Like approximately 8 percent of men, I suffer from red-green color blindness, which means that we have various degrees of deficiency in seeing the two colors. So when the Times prints an illustration like today’s map of projected school enrollment — which I’m told utilizes subtle gradations of taupe and green (what the fuck is “taupe” anyway?) — they might as well just print a big circle full of colored dots so that everybody can have a good laugh at the expense of us genetic freaks.
Color vision deficiency is in fact the most common X chromosome linked genetic disorder, a classic example in both Biology and Psychology 101 textbooks, and something I’ve been led to believe is taught in good graphic design schools everywhere. Thus this lack of sensitivity to my lack of color sensitivity is not only thoughtless and rude… it’s downright unprofessional. The illustration in question was intended to graphically communicate information, not hang on your living room wall, so how hard would it have been to garishly mix in a few blues and yellows?
So, Seattle Times art department… now you know. And in case you need a little refresher course on appropriate color palettes, here are some helpful hints from the folks at Microsoft.