Colours and patterns play a key role in garments and fashion design, also influencing accessibility and inclusion.
We choose to wear one colour or another depending on our mood, the mood we feel in the morning and the light of the day, whether it is sunny or cloudy, are factors that influence our decision.
If we use one colour or another, the garment changes radically.
For example, a white shirt, a basic, or a red shirt, more aggressive, or a shirt printed with pink flowers and a white background.
Of course the white shirt is the most demanded, it is easy to combine with other colours and patterns, and is suitable for any occasion. The disadvantage is that scuffs and stains are very visible on white shirts, so many people do not feel confident about it.
25% of the population has some kind of visual disability, it can be colour blindness, low vision or hypersensitivity.
If we choose red, also a basic colour, shade plays a crucial role. For people with colour blindness there are certain ranges of reds that are perceived as vivid and bright, instead of using a pure dark red (RGB=100%, 0%, 0%, 0% or #FF.), it is better to use a vermilion, yellowish red, or a light red, mixed with white.
Light tones are more appreciated by people with hypersensitivity, we avoid creating extra stimuli and reduce unnecessary disturbances. The sight is more relaxed and the vision of the garment creates a more pleasant stimulus, which turns into sales. Most visually impaired people can detect colour contrast, so the red rose print shirt on a white background is a good example.
The advantage of prints is that they hide stains very well, better than plain colours. The stain is camouflaged within the pattern, and offers more security.
They also help us to hide body deformities or hide those parts we don’t like so much. The print diverts the view, creating an optical effect that conceals whether we are symmetrical or not, improving our personal image.
The disadvantage is the combination with other garments. If the print has only a few colours, as in this case red and white, it is relatively easy to use colour detectors, which some people with blindness or low vision use to identify the colour, and match the shirt with other clothes.
Note that we cannot confuse shades with colours: the variety of shades does not affect as much as the variety of colours. In the example of the flower shirt: the flowers can include more shades of different shades of red, but not more colours than red and white. A tone on tone always looks good, is harmonious and pleasing.
It is when combining colours that we encounter difficulties, especially if the colours are close together.
In summary, plain colours are easier and quicker to identify for the 25% of the visually diverse population, and prints with limited colours are more appealing to people with non-standard bodies.
Remember to use an accessible colour chart, always!
Think Diversity, Design Accessibility, Create Inclusion!