Monday, April 23, 2012

Communicating Colours

Set of stamps
First Day Cover with stamps
It is estimated that there are 350 million colour blind people in the world.Research into the causes of colour blindness has revealed that it entails restrictions and consequences: “How to choose or buy clothes? What to answer a child when it asks you to pass the green pencil because it wants to paint a tree? How to interpret the subway map if the lines are represented by colours? How to perform a professional vocation when they are all anchored in the colour realm?” The mission of ColorADD is to offer the colour blind acquisitive independence,easier social integration in situations when choosing a COLOUR is relevant and to minimize the feeling of loss that this handicap causes, with an ensuing boost of the person’s well-being and self-confidence. Ninety per cent of the world’s information is produced by COLOURS. A survey carried out in several countries involving colour blind people highlighted the difficulties in terms of social and professional integration. For instance: more than 90% of the colour blind need assistance to buy clothes; more than 40% experience social integration difficulties, almost 50% have felt embarrassed or ashamed because in various circumstances the colour selected was not the most adequate.
The recognition of the need and the geographical and multicultural dispersion of the colour blind strengthen the importance of transversal and global communication that allows the colour blind to correctly identify COLOURS.
The analysis and study of various symbologies used all over the world have led to the conclusion that COLOUR and SHAPE guarantee communication universality. The challenge would thus consist in ensuring that SHAPE, in itself, could guarantee the communicational function and identify the COLOUR in a positive way, without causing embarrassment to the colour blind, and a swift and easy integration in that person’s “visual vocabulary”. This gave rise to the idea of “recovering” the concept of adding colour. We all remember the watercolour boxes we used in school, with the three primary colours + white and black. Even if a colour blind person does not identify the colours correctly, he or she has learned to mix them to obtain other colours, awarding to each one of them a graphic symbol that represents the colour in question.
Starting out from the acquired knowledge, in the same way that we are taught to mix BLUE with YELLOW in order to get GREEN, the colour code enables to associate the symbol that represents BLUE to the symbol that represents YELLOW in order to identify GREEN. WHITE and BLACK are used to guide lighter and darker shades. This way, and by memorizing only five symbols, the colour blind can be guided and are able to identify all colours. Thus the ColorADD Code becomes transversal to all areas of the global society, regardless of geographical location, culture, language and religion, and can be implemented in the fields of education, health, transport, in teaching materials, in clothing and textile industries or in information technology. This issue, made up of five stamps, presents the ColorADD concept. Each stamp represents the three primary colours + white and black. The ColorADD code ranged next to the CTT nomina – in which red represents national mail, blue represents priority mail, yellow represents mail for Europe and white and black represents mail for the rest of the World – translates COLOURS in graphical terms, allowing for their correct identification by individuals who otherwise would be unable to distinguish them – viz. the colour blind. The ColorADD code, pioneer, unique, universal, transversal and inclusive, will be a legacy left by Portugal to Mankind. COLOURS should be for all. This is the motivation.

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 20 March 2012
Values: Stamps of €0,32; €0,47; €0,68; €0,80 and €1,00
Designer: Miguel Neiva
Printer: Joh. Enschedé
Process: Offset
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm
Perforation: Cross of Christ 13 x 13
Sheet: sheets of 50 stamps

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