Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Notable Pencils: Viarco ColorADD

Viarco ColorADD pencils

The Viarco ColorADD Color Identification System set of colored pencils is a unique specimen that I received as a gift from someone who knows I appreciate all colored pencils and collect unusual ones. Developed specifically to aid colorblind users, the pencil colors are identified with symbols as well as the usual colored end caps that match the cores.

According to the package, the Color Identification System “was developed based on a process of logic association and easy memorization by using primary colors, represented by graphic symbols. The concept of adding colors becomes a ‘game’ for the colorblind person, who using his own knowledge connects symbols – identifying colors and their respective representations, through the association of simple shapes to elementary chromatic combinations.”

For example, if you mix the pencil marked with a triangle (blue) with the pencil marked with a diagonal line (yellow), the resulting color would be green (marked by the same triangle and line). I have talked to a few people with normal vision who have had so much difficulty understanding basic color-mixing theory that perhaps this set would be helpful to anyone in learning these principles, not just those with colorblindness.

As for the pencils themselves. . . let’s just say they are not ones I would choose to do anything with except understand colors if I were colorblind. But the concept of the system is intriguing and unique.

Incidentally, the ColorADD pencils are made by Viarco, the Portuguese manufacturer that also makes my very favorite water-soluble graphite pencil, the ArtGraf.

(This is part of my series of occasional posts that are not really reviews but stories about products I find notable for one reason or another.)

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