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Color is Here to Stay

5 Oct

The Studies say  – COLOR  . . . it is Here to Stay!

In the large format print business every day we see more and more requests for COLOR, which is completely understandable because typically all “designs” are produced in COLOR.  With that said, everyone knows intuitively that COLOR delivers more effective communications but have you ever seen “actual” study results?

The Research Studies show:

Study #1  Xerox Corporation 2003 (1)

92% Believe COLOR presents an image of impressive quality

90% Feel COLOR can assist in attracting new customers

90% Believe customers remember presentations and documents better when COLOR is used

83% Believe COLOR makes them appear more successful

81% Think COLOR gives them a competitive edge

76% Believe that the use of COLOR makes their business appear larger to clients.

Study #2  David Embry – 1984 (2)

COLOR can improve learning from 55 to 78 percent, and improve comprehension by up to 73 percent.

The question now is should black and white printing/output be put out of its misery?  We don’t have the answer to that, but some experts feel it should be retired.

Study #3 Don Jones – 2004 (3) Mr. Jones wrote the Definitive Guide to Office Color Printing put it in this way  . . .

                        “To put COLOR print pricing in context, in 1994 a typical departmental-sized black-and-white laser printer would cost you around $5000 with a per-page price of about 8 or 9 cents.  For less than that cost today (2004), you can have a high-quality COLOR printer.  The idea that COLOR is too expensive for in-house, everyday use is as antiquated as that 1994 black-and-white laser printer.”

Here is a fact that may come as a surprise to many – did you know that you can no longer purchase a New black and white (b/w) inkjet plotter?  That is because as of October 1, 2011 Hewlett Packard discontinued the last commercially viable B/W only ink jet plotter as of that date.  The next logical question is why?  The answer is the cost to the manufacturer.   To add “COLOR” capabilities to a machine is minimal at the time of final assembly and therefore the savings so small to the end user that it is not worth producing or stocking both models!  Furthermore the time, energy and cost to support a product with low sales numbers is added reason for the manufacturer to not sell a B/W only plotter.  Rest assured this same type of analysis is going on in halls of every printer manufacturer today.  In fact Canon, who has come on very strong in the large format output arena over the last 6 years, stopped producing a B/W only plotter 5 years ago!

One other selfish reason the manufacturers wants to eliminate B/W only units is they know that users will use COLOR if they have the option and everyone knows that selling ink consumables is where the manufacturers make the real profit.

The facts suggest that as we move forward we will see more and more large format documents in COLOR just as we have seen in the small format arena.  We look forward to that because as the studies show, COLOR not only improves communication and reduces errors but it makes All of US LOOK GOOD!


(1) Xerox Corporation and International Communications Research from February 19, 2003 to March 7, 2003

(2) Embry, David. “The Persuasive Properties of color”. Marketing Communications, October  1984

(3) Don Jones, “The Definitive Guide to Office Color Printing”

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