The impact of colour in business forms communication

Monique Willemse is an independant colour - and trend consultant for -amongst other clients- the paper industry. She creates new paper concepts and colour ranges for large fine papers manufacturers.

Here she suggests some of the key things to remember when using colour in business forms.

Value colour as a means of non-verbal communication.

Effective colours are colours that underline who you are and in particular, what your message is. Take into account that every colour has a particular psychological effect on the consumer. Use this to your advantage.

Colour is a functional instrument that gives a printed matter charisma and personality. The Brits say: A picture paints a thousands words. But you can also say: A colour paints a powerful atmosphere.

Remember, that even the selected whiteness of your business forms expresses an atmosphere.

Using more colours is not necessarily more effective. However, a sharply designed form using 4-5 well chosen colours can give your document that differentiating edge amongst other pre-print senders.

Documents and presentations that include colour are appreciated 60% higher than the ones in black and white.

Colour makes a great first impression which is helpful as the average reader decides within 2,5 seconds if your document will be read or binned.

Studies have shown that invoices are paid instantly by 20-50% of the people that receive the invoice if the amount to be paid is printed in colour.

Figures are remembered better when the parts that are most important for the audience, are printed in colour. Furthermore, a price list in colour is read and remembered by more people than the same list in black and white.

Colour influences one's concentration and makes complex information accessible. Think of medical diagrams or electronical schemes.

Colour sells better. A coloured advertisement draws the attention of more readers than a similar page in black and white. Colour encourages people to pay attention, to react and to buy (up to 85% more).