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November 29, 2009

In 2007 I took part in Skeive kunstnere’s art exhibit, during Oslo gay pride. I exhibited four pictures based on Ishihara color tests, but using gay, lesbian and transgender symbols, instead of letters and numbers. Each picture was printed on 50x50cm canvas. The idea behind the images was that we all see things a little different. What is appealing to one person, may be unnoticeable or repulsive to the next.

The images were made using Inkscape, svg and php. I used Inkscape, an open-source vector drawing program, to draw the different gender symbols. I then wrote a small program in php, that took those images and made Ishihara’s out of them, as svg files. I guess you could call it programmer art. 🙂

If you can’t see the one on the lower left, don’t worry, you’re not colour blind. It’s the one representing heterosexuality, and as a joke, I put nothing in there…after all, I personally can’t “see” heterosexuality. 🙂

On the other hand, if you can’t see the symbols in any of the other three, you might actually be colour blind! Though, please don’t use these as an actual test, and go see a doctor if in doubt, it might just be that your monitor has wonked colour settings.


EmaitExcina · Jan 3, 2010 ·

Interesting blogpost, I did not thought it would be so stunning when I klicked at the url!!

blazz0r · Jan 29, 2010 ·

Sadly this is lost on me because I am truly color blind 😛

Interesting to read how you did it though!

Marcin · Feb 15, 2011 ·

could you please provide the code of your php program? could you please roughy explain what do you exactly do in inkscape?

Ragnar · Feb 17, 2011 ·

I would love to provide the code, but have lost it somewhere along the way. I was looking for it the other day, and couldn’t find it anywhere. 🙁

It wasn’t terribly advanced though. SVG files are basically just XML files, so instead of outputting HTML, I had the PHP output an XML. What the code did was create random dots of random size within a circle. It had two color ranges, and would pick one or the other based on a black and white image with the design on it. The only hard part was to figure out was how to place the dots evenly, yet randomly, across the surface without overlapping. What I wound up doing was just drawing randomly placed dots, and then using the radius check if it overlapped any of the existing dots. If it did, I would cancel it and try again at a different location. To get enough dots I just had it repeat this several thousand times, which was terribly slow. So it was basically brute force.

As for InkScape, I used it mainly to output the resulting images to png. I’ve used it for a lots of other stuff, and it’s a great program for creating logos, icons and graphics.

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