We rarely stop to think about color, as it’s fairly instinctual and subconscious; but color has a huge impact on our perception of the world and what we find captivating about it. When it comes to color, there’s more going on than meets the eye. In our subconscious, color creates powerful relationships before anything else has been perceived or comprehended. Based on some intriguing color printing research done by HP1, here are five things you probably didn’t know about color printing and how color impacts our interactions with just about everything.
1. Colored documents are more appealing
Adding color to printed documents makes them more appealing to the human eye. Four times as many business professionals feel that documents printed in color are very attractive, especially compared to monochrome counterparts. A colored document becomes even more appealing as the proportion of color content to black-and-white content increases.
If you’re trying to generate interest in a document that might otherwise be overlooked, adding color is the way to go—and the more color you use, the more appealing your document will be. Color may be the only thing that could revitalize a 2:30 p.m. presentation as your third cup of coffee begins to wear off.
2. Color doesn’t go unnoticed
If you need to get the office’s attention to announce a software or security update, you should definitely use color printing. The same goes for anyone printing documents meant to be read by a large audience. No matter what you’re printing, you’re likely making an announcement of some sort—and color is the most effective way to draw attention across the board.
Color documents are much more likely to capture attention than standard black-and-white ones. HP’s color printing research indicates that 84 percent of business leaders print their documents in color for this reason. According to Entrepreneur, 60 percent of business professionals agree that their customers would be far more likely to notice a piece of mail that was printed in full color rather than one that featured little-to-no color. In this example, the use of color in print amplified its impact.
3. People prefer to read colored documents
To increase the likelihood of your message being noticed by readers, add some color. Three times as many people prefer to read a colored document than one printed in black and white.
Color also makes customers want to read a document more closely. If it’s printed in color, business leaders are three times more likely to read the document carefully. Have your eyes ever glazed over while trying to read a monochrome document (particularly one that’s text heavy)? This usually results in us either postponing our reading or just ignoring it altogether.
4. Color might drive purchasing decisions
Although color grabs the attention of customers and entices them to read your message, it may or may not actually persuade readers to take a specific action. Past studies indicated that 90 percent of shopping decisions are made on the basis of color alone, so color likely does plays a powerful role when customers are considering a brand or one of its products. This ties back to the psychology of color and the emotions that it triggers within us, whether positive or negative. According to Gizmodo, yellow is a popular color used for cartoon characters because the bright hue is associated with happiness and playfulness—consider Winnie the Pooh, Bart Simpson, and Tweety Bird.
In other scenarios, color may not have the same kind of impact. For example, less than one-third of individuals surveyed report that they print a document in color to “compel action,” and less than one-quarter strongly agreed that printing invoices with key information highlighted in color encourages their customers to pay bills sooner. So, color isn’t exactly a magic wand for instigating specific consumer actions, but it can play a powerful role in moving the process along.
5. Color helps with branding
Branding is one of the biggest cases for the use of color printing in the office. Trust is the magic ingredient for establishing a relationship with a customer, and color helps to make that possible because it boosts a brand’s reputation. More than one-half of business professionals strongly agree that color printing enhances their company’s image, and 44 percent believe that using color in marketing materials improves their company’s brand reputation. For example, including a color image of a product in printed materials increases the likelihood that someone will buy it.
Although cost is an important factor in deciding whether to print something in color, very few survey respondents rated the price first or even second on their list of priorities. At the same time, color printing is becoming much more affordable. HP’s PageWide printers deliver brilliant color at 40 percent lower cost per page when compared to color lasers.2 With cost-effective color solutions in their corner, businesses can tap into the unique ability of color to enhance their brand identities and create strong emotional connections with customers.
- HP, “Color Effectiveness/Business Impact Research,” March 2017.
- 40 percent lower color cost-per-page compared with color lasers: Comparison of HP PageWide Pro and Enterprise class devices, not sold under contract, with the majority of in-class color laser MFPs < $3000 USD, and color laser printers < $1249 USD as of November 2016; market share as reported by IDC as of Q2 2016. Cost per page (CPP) reported by gap Intelligence Pricing & Promotions report Oct 2016, comparisons for all supplies are based on published specifications of the manufacturers’ highest-capacity cartridges and page yield. Average yield based on ISO/IEC 24711 and continuous printing. Actual yield varies based on content of printed pages and other factors. For details see www.hp.com/go/learnaboutsupplies.