I’m very chuffed to have provided Steve Tidball of Vollebak UK with evidence-based insight on high visibility colour.
London-based start-up Vollebak is a cutting edge, experimental adventure brand that creates adventure sports clothing using insights and discoveries from diverse fields such as neuroscience, physiology, material technology and space exploration…and evidence-based colour research.
Vollebak have already released High Visibility Nano 555, which is ideal for urban environments. Its bright green contrasts and visually stands out amongst contextual colour in these environments. Nano 555 is highly visible when there is a preponderance of varying or contrasting hues such as blues, greys, browns plus reds in terms of stone, asphalt, signage, etc.
For rural environments and trekking or hiking, I recommended Nano 640 (bright scarlet red) which is highly visible in these environments because of the relative lack of bright red objects. Bright scarlet red contrasts with the green and blue hues of a rural landscape – green foliage, brown/blue stone, brown/green trees, blue rivers/sky, grey mist and fog, etc. Bright scarlet red is a highly visible colour at sea and especially in fog and mist, and has traditionally been used for this reason in lighthouses for centuries. In addition, bright red has attentional advantage. That is, we are hard-wired to notice bright red due to it’s link with blood, danger, etc.
High visibility colour is essentially a disruptive colour where there is strong contrast and incongruity between object colour and contextual colour. Ideally, contrast occurs on all three dimensions of colour but especially hue. The three dimensions of colour are hue, tonal value (the lightness or darkness of a colour) and saturation (intensity or achromaticity of a colour).
To find out more about Vollebak, click this link.