Distinguishable Random Colors

The human vision heavily depends on the photoreceptor cells found in the eye’s retina. Of the two types of cells, cones and rods, the cones are responsible for our color perception. To make it short, humans have like an RGB system of cones, which means that there are cones responsible for perceiving red, green and blue. Interestingly, these cones are not equally distributed. In fact, there are far more red-cones (64%) than green-cones (32%) and almost no blue-cones (2%), which is the reason why we are extremely good in distinguishing red from green and blue but very poor in distinguishing blue from green. This is good to know when it comes to automatically chosen colors in visualization. If one picks ten different colors, how can we make sure that the viewer will be able to see any differences between them all?

To investigate into this question, I created this little experiment.

» launch interactive 1

One Response to “Distinguishable Random Colors”

  1. Quora

    What are some good color schemes for maps (addressing 4 color problem and just general clarity in data vis)?…

    In general there are two reasons to use color in vis: either for distinguishing items/classes/types of objects (color-coding) or for displaying values of a scale (encoding). For color-coding distinguishability of colors is the most important aspect. Un…

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