ColorADD | Universal Color Identification System

ColorADD | Universal Color Identification System: Inclusive Culture and Brand Effectiveness Thru Color

Porto, PortugalPorto, Portugal
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ColorADD is raising society awareness for colorblindness, providing a innovative solution that helps colorblind to identify colors whenever color is a factor of identification, orientation or choice. With the ColorADD code on labels or hang-tags the colors in clothes are easily identified.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if, with an universal and inclusive color code, all colors could be correctly interpreted by all colorblind, without discrimination, also creating a social and economic impact for the Textile Industry that use the code?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Colorblindess, or colorvision deficiency, affects approximately 10% of men and 0,5% of women - around 350 million people all over the world. There are different forms of colorblindness, including the inability to perceive any color. A person with color vision deficiency has trouble in identifying color garments at point-of-sale, thus limited purchasing decision without assistance, or selecting what to wear in daily life.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ColorADD is an universal code for the colorblind to identify colors, which transforms color into symbols, easy to memorize and apply in daily situations, avoiding discrimination of the colorblind. We seek the inclusion and equality for colorblind whenever color is a factor of choice, communication or orientation. The Code can be easily implemented in textile labeling, helping millions of colorblind to identify colors, integrating without discriminating. This simple solution allows inclusion and helps change the mindset of stakeholders for a inclusive culture thru color. The apparel industry that adopts the ColorADD code is turning their products more inclusive and accessible to all, whilst reinforcing their corporate image.


Please check our About Us document (Recognition and Awards):
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Over 90% of today’s communication is based on visual and graphic solutions, with color as the main vehicle of communication. Individuals access information 70% faster when color is used in communication. However colorblindness affects 10% of the male and 0,5% of the female population. There are approximately 350 million colorblind in the world. We have proven that the ColorADD code applied on garments labelling and store category management deploys greater freedom whenever are choosing garment colors in the act of purchase or when they are choosing their clothes in their daily life. We have testimonials and many colorblind who couldn't shop their garments alone and are now happily independent when buying or selecting what to wear.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We detain the know-how and want to replicate at a global scale this our well success proven Co-Creation model in the labelling of textiles, chothing and shoes. Currently there seven Portuguese Textiles Companies that are using the code: ZIPPY, MO, Blankpage, Sorema, Graccioza, Nortada, Dkode, Boom Bap Wear. The entire Pantone catalogue (textile) is already referenced with ColorADD Code, which can be readily adopted to all the textiles companies in the world on their apparel labelling. The ColorADD Code adoption is simple and cheap to implement. ColorADD is also implemented in other cross-sector areas such as Transports, Pencil Industry, Didactic Games, Health, City Administration, Food Retail, School Manuals, Safety Signage, IT, General Industry, among others, achieving expertise through strong partnerships, creating replicable clusters fundamental to deploy the code at a Global Scale.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our long term objective is to turn the ColorADD Code labels into a Industry Standard in the Apparel Industry, across the globe, like the wash&care labels, since only its effective widespread use will deploy full integration of the colorblind. We want to scale out the success implementation model through two strategic initiatives, that will help to expand global interest and knowledge about the colorblindness issue and ColorADD code: Top-Down: "Me too" effect involving large Textile Companies (e.g:C&A) Bottom-up:Expanding the colorblindness awareness by the society thru the voice of colorblind.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

ColorADD code can be used through a license acquisition, being the license fees adapted to the dimension of the company. The smaller the companies the smaller the fee is, assuring an affordable and democratic cost for companies. We also have a pro-bono model for schools. We work in co-creation with innumerous companies and entities, through the use of the code in their products and communication.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

ColorADD doesn't have any competitors doing the same work. The ColorADD Code is unique and protected worldwide with its author rights who is simultaneously the ColorADD project mentor. The ColorADD code, brand and project detain worldwide a "good practice", as well as continous collaboration from Colorblind Associations and public entities in many countries.

Founding Story

While working on my thesis for my Master in Design and Marketing, I wanted to create something that through design, my passion, could benefit society. Design has indeed the noble mission and the capacity to contribute to a more accessible and inclusive world. I challenged myself to create a system to identify colors for colorblind people but must confess that at first I did not fully grasp the actual impact that it could have in the world. The next challenge after creating the ColorADD code was to reach as many colorblind people as possible and give them equality of access to the ColorADD system (MIGUEL NEIVA, ColorADD creator and project mentor)


Our passion team comprises to 3 full-time workers, 2 part-time workers and 3 board members, besides a full-time worker in ColorADD.Social. MIGUEL NEIVA (Porto, Portugal, 1969) is a Designer in Visual Communication, with a Master Degree in Design and Marketing, and also a social entrepreneur – Ashoka Fellow. He is the creator of ColorADD. Color identification system for colorblind people, a pioneer, universal and inclusive code which allows the inclusion of about 350 million people around the world. He is committed since 2008 with the worldwide implementation of this communication system – considered by the GALILEU magazine, of GLOBO editors, Brazil, as one of the “40 ideas to improve the World”. In fact, this code is already being implemented by several entities from different economic sectors of society. Miguel has also created an NGO, ColorADD.Social, so that ColorADD may be used in education, free of costs, thus allowing the inclusion of colorblind children without discriminating, always having in mind his mission of taking this tool all around the world, as far as one can reach… trying to promote a better World for All!!! Invited to several national and international events/seminars/conferences, where he acts as speaker and takes the opportunity to share his experience and passion with everyone. His passion and work has been recognized and he has been awarded with several distinctions: Order of Commercial Merit – Officer level, by the President of the Portuguese Republic during the celebration of the Day of Portugal, of Camões and of the Portuguese Communities, 2015; Gold medal commemorative of “50th anniversary of the Human Rights Universal Declaration”, by the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic Parliament, 2012; Municipal Merit Silver Medal, by the Mayor of the Porto City Hall, 2013. DANIEL TEIXEIRA: Partner and General Manager, 44, Degree in Food Engineering - Universidade Católica Portuguesa and MBA from the Escola de Negócios Europeia (EUDEM). Experience in various management functions and industry leadership in multinational environment is currently the Global Director of Quality, Environment and Sustainability at CSM Bakery Solutions. JOÃO P PINTO MACHADO: Marketing International Development and Institutional Relations, 58, Political science at San Francisco State University, "MBA at Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (visiting student). He lived in 3 continents throughout his marketing career and he is currently CEO in RCC - Camiseros Premium and Product Director at Masters and Premium Marketeers (marketing strategies). It is a firm believer that the social economy will build a better world. RICARDO MORETE FERREIRA: Business Development & Finance, 39, Degree in Management - Universidade Lusíada do Porto. Graduate in Finance from Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Concluding his thesis in Accounting and Management Control at Faculdade de Economia do Porto. Over 15 years of experience in finance, management and business development. FRANCISCO MEIRELES: Business Development; Partnership and Technical Implementations, 41, graduated in Architecture - Universidade Lusíada do Porto. Over than 14 years of experience in architecture and urbanism. JOANA LEMOS: Co-Coordinator of the Association ColorADD.Social, 36, graduated in Psychology at Instituto Superior da Maia, with professional experience in the psychological, educational and social support to children, youth and their immediate families, as well as in the promotion of information and training sessions aimed at parents and teachers on issues of children and youth.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]


Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Other [please specify].

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Children, Consumers, Corporations, Designers, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Policymakers, Retailers - Department Store, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Other, [please specify].

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Other, [please specify].

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Inspire to create something new, think out of the box, and start similar co-creation models

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Shared value co-creation partnerships over color: labelling,catalogues,hang-tags,websites promoting inclusion w/o discriminating