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Should We Limit Use of Color in Documents?

We live in a very media competitive world. Print has to go head-to-head against the alternatives and shouldn't be handicapped by being less colorful than other media, unless, of course, the use of color has no material effect on the final product.
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Written by Doc on

A while back, I chimed in on a study that showed color documents are more effective than black and white ones in a number of areas.

Based on the comments to that posting, it seems not everyone agrees that using color is appropriate for many documents. Color is incrementally more wasteful than black-and-white printing, and so the theory goes that we should limit our use of color in the name of conservation.

Doc disagrees. The choice of using color or not should be made based on the audience for and use of the document.

In many different media (film, television, computer screens), the use of color is incrementally more expensive (and probably more wasteful) than monotone alternatives. Yet we accept that those media should, in most cases, be in color. Why should print be any different? Doc can make the argument that modern printing technology is such that full-color is not dramatically more wasteful than black-and-white printing. And if color makes printed communications more effective, doesn't that help offset the additional costs?

We live in a very media competitive world. Print has to go head-to-head against the alternatives and shouldn't be handicapped by being less colorful than other media, unless, of course, the use of color has no material effect on the final product.

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