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Business

Is Full-Color the New Standard for Office Documents?

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?
Written by Doc , Contributor on

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.

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