Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

Summary: After a night of too many mojitos with my buddies from Ricoh, the Doc doesn't remember very much. But one thing I couldn't possibly forget is our stimulating discussion about how color documents are more effective than black and white ones (and you thought the Doc was no fun). Seems my mojito buddies have produced a white paper on color, which may seem ironic, but we’re talking metaphors here. And speaking of color, do I look a little green around the gills to you?

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After a night of too many mojitos with my buddies from Ricoh, the Doc doesn't remember very much. But one thing I couldn't possibly forget is our stimulating discussion about how color documents are more effective than black and white ones (and you thought the Doc was no fun). Seems my mojito buddies have produced a white paper on color, which may seem ironic, but we’re talking metaphors here. And speaking of color, do I look a little green around the gills to you?

The free white paper concludes:

In corporate communications, color has not yet become the benchmark, but the trend is heading in that direction. The reason that demand for color output is rising is simple: the power of color is undeniable, and its power is particularly well-suited to printed documents. Here's why:

  • Color enhances communication. Documents that use color rate higher than monochrome documents in just about every measurable criteria related to the communication of written information. According to a study detailed in Psychology magazine, color makes the document itself more attractive, improving the audience’s willingness to read it by as much as 80% and their motivation to finish it by 78%. Color helps after the fact as well, accelerating retention and recall by 78% and improving comprehension of the material by 73%. Bottom line: If you want the audience to read your work and remember it later, color is essential.

  • Color increases accuracy. Just as color makes documents easier to read and comprehend, it also improves how readers respond to direction. For example, forms and questionnaires that incorporate color have a 78% lower rate of error than similar documents printed in black-and-white. This has implications for any organization that distributes paperwork and other forms to employees, or collects written information from customers or end-users through surveys, direct mail response cards, contest entries, or data-gathering tools for customer relationship management programs.

  • Color improves your image. Using full-color materials sends important messages to your audience about your organization - all of which are positive. In a study by the Wharton School of Business, presenters who used color visuals were perceived as better prepared, more professional, more persuasive, more credible, and more interesting than presenters who used black-and-white visuals.

  • Color sells. Whether you are marketing a product, a service, or an idea, using color to deliver your message significantly improves the odds of your audience responding to your call to action. Specifically, according to the Psychology magazine study, color increases the likelihood people will purchase a product or service by 85%. This is why color is such an important element in materials for sales, marketing, education, and training.

Written by Scott Boekweg, the paper is free and can be downloaded here.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Software

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8 comments
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  • N.America's uncompetitive businesses *have too much overhead*

    gee, it used to be that some paper, a blackboard, chalk, a few pencils,
    erasers & a long-lived typewriter ribbon could get one through the
    year's office expenses.

    gee, [i]I wonder why we're going under[/i] when China's offices
    probably
    don't spend massive budgets on POST-ITS, super-white paper by the
    metric tonne, shredding & printer ink?
    [i]maybe we should invest in more bottled water instead of cleaning
    up
    our municipal sources, too... [/i]
    so much for creativity & sustainable business practises!

    [b]If we're going under, its because we're short-sighted, stupid &
    wasteful people.[/b]

    We bring this on ourselves: turning every business into a major
    profit-centre for Big Corporate Businesses like HP Ink or Staples
    WON'T BRING BACK THE BUSINESSES if we can't afford to actually
    create anything or invest in employee benefits & PAYROLL.

    Yeah, the multi-nationals [i]really need our ca$h[/i] more than our
    local
    economies...

    LET'S MAKE MORE GARBAGE we can SHIP OVERSEAS so in 50 years,
    they can harvest it & sell it back to our pitiful nations!

    If YOU want to spend your money & shiny colourful paper, go ahead...

    but don't whinge when the smaller companies have to lay off their
    employees & the local economy makes another circuit swirling the
    bowl...


    perspective.

    [b]BlueBerry Pick'n[/b]
    can be found @
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    [i]"We, two, form a Multitude[/i]" - Ovid.

    "[i]Violence can only be concealed by a Lie, & the Lie can only be
    maintained by Violence.[/i]" ... "[i]Any man, who has once proclaimed
    Violence as his Method, is inevitably forced to take the Lie as his
    Principle[/i]" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    [i]Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit
    atrocities.[/i]" - Voltaire
    BlueBerry Pick'n
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    I don't mind either way, but don't start printing books in colour, stick to colour for pictures only.
    Silverweb
    silverweb@...
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    Gosh, what a bunch of negative people we have commenting
    on this article. Should we go back to watching black and
    white television, too?

    Maybe it is silly, but I like color. I feel like I get
    better grades on my lab reports when I have nice pretty
    graphs and charts instead of barely legible monochrome
    ones from the student printers in the physics building.
    squareforceone
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    I find it ironic that you are promoting a "White Paper" on the subject - surely it should be a "full colour paper"

    Rosie
    Cheeky Rosie
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    Doc -

    You mentioned that "After a night of too many mojitos with
    my buddies from Ricoh, the Doc doesn?t remember very
    much." Were you out at Nico's with Art Mahony and Kevin
    Doyle?
    The DocuMENTAL
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    There doesn't appear to be a Psychology Magazine, so let's be skeptical of this "research."
    willyth
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

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    3shao
  • RE: Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

    Clearly, the decision to print in color has to be weighed against some off the negatives, and every company has to set its own policies. But in the grand scheme of marketing expenses, the difference between color and black and white printing is probably fairly minimal, so if the results are better, the choice seems like a no brainer. But Doc is all for conserving paper and toner when it clearly won't have an impact on sales or productivity.
    DocuMentor (Doc)