Colour perception and accuracy in design

Article published at: Apr 30, 2024
Colour perception and accuracy in design
All Inky Tales

Colour testing is a crucial aspect of design, especially when working with clients who have specific colour preferences or requirements. Colour evokes emotion in people, and more often than not that emotion is tied up indelibly in the clients' decision making process when it comes to design. 

The problem is, we don't all see the same thing. Computer monitor calibration matters, and so does natural ability to perceive colours accurately. 

Color blindness is more common than you might think. It is estimated that there are 300 million color blind people in the world! 1 in 12 men is color blind while only 1 in 200 women have the condition. 

If you're curious how a colour blind person sees the world, you can use the simulator over at:


If you're interested in testing your own colour vision, The Farnsworth–Munsell 100 Hue Color Vision test is often used to test for colour blindness both in a medical setting and in recruitment The system was developed by Dean Farnsworth in the 1940s and it tests the ability to isolate and arrange minute differences in various color targets with constant value and chroma that cover all the visual hues described by the Munsell color system.

There are several variations of the test, one featuring 100 colour hues and one featuring 80 colour hues. Both versions consist of a set of colour discs or squares that vary in hue and saturation. The test taker's task is to arrange these discs/squares in a specific order based on their colour perception.

I have taken the analog one in a hospital setting (100% colour perception accuracy) and I have taken the online one as well - interestingly I made a couple of errors on this one. 

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 HueColor Vision Test (the complete version)

The only way to try the complete test now is to download the swf file to your computer:

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 HueColor Vision Test - Complete


Alternatively you can try to shorter (and a fair bit easier) version still available at on the Xrite website:

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