Is colour just another feature?

Xerox Developing Markets Operations, discusses the importance of colour in everyday life and business experiences

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Is colour just another feature? Dan Smith, head, Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Xerox Developing Markets Operations.
By  Dan Smith Published  May 24, 2014

Dan Smith, head, Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Xerox Developing Markets Operations, discusses the importance of colour in everyday life and business experiences.

Have you ever thought about your everyday life experiences and how the subconscious registers, processes and responds to them, sometimes without the conscious mind taking note? Following this line of thought, a basic but crucial element in our lives which we don’t give the credit it deserves is colour. Colour is energy and has a direct physical and psychological effect on us. For example, being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful colour, it evokes warmth, energy, basic survival but at the same time defiance and aggression.

It gets more complex as colours also have different meanings for different cultures. In some cultures, the colour red is known to be linked to love, other cultures associate the colour red with anger. Black on the other hand is known to be a powerful colour, which represents power and authority, while gold represents royalty.

Building on this and bringing it to the business environment, how does one capture attention more effectively? Colour increases a reader’s attention span and recall by an amazing 82%, according to research.

According to research safety notices, warnings and critical technical information are more likely to stand out and be remembered when in colour.

Colour is powerful and today has taken a front seat as a non-verbal communication tool in various organisations. As we live in a consumer-driven world, colour is used to capture our attention to a brand or a certain product around us. The application of colour has led some organisations to gain huge profits generated from sales and brand equity.

Internally, within a business, messages are delivered a lot more effectively when written in colour whether its documents, charts or visuals. A bigger impact is generated and critical information is emphasised and highlighted, resulting in a stronger impact.

Despite the many advantages that colour has, a restriction which is often faced by businesses when wanting to utilise colour is budget. In the current economic climate, a lot of businesses are cutting down costs and settling for black and white documents. The benefits of colour over black and white are much more. Sales presentations for any business are bound to have more of an effect when colour is used as there is more of a chance for the customer to understand the message faster and more clear.

There are various ways to tackle budgets especially in the current business climate with technology growing at a fast rate, organisations are able to cut costs using a stand alone multifunction system, which can copy, print, scan and fax and these cut overheads and are available in power saving models; which have been engineered to also be cost effective in producing colours and are sold for less than $1,000.

Technology has made digital colour, which was once only available to large organisations, available for any office of any size. Cost control is also available in some machines, which lets a user to set up passwords and control for who and when colour is used. Multifunction machines with built-in reporting systems allow the racking of how much colour is being used at any time, making it more convenient to control the costs and allowing more offices to reap the benefits of printing in colour.

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