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    Colour me cost-effective..

    With people around the world celebrating Holi, the Festival of Colours this month, see below for some tips on how to make the most informed decision in your choice of colour printer; for whatever size of business you are in.

    OKI Holi festival

    In the print industry, cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used as the primary colours. Most printers use the CMYK colour model.

    CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printers: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). The “K” in CMYK stands for key since in four-colour printing cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate. Some sources suggest that the “K” in CMYK comes from the last letter in “black” and was chosen because B already means blue. However, this explanation is incorrect. Of course, as most of you know, OKI was the first to bring out CMYW for white toner based printing.

    We once lived in a blacGraffitik and white world. TV was black, printed publications were predominantly black. All of that changed in the 60’s and has created a chain reaction that holds true today. Less than ten years ago, in-house colour printing was still an expensive hobby. Today, businesses in the Middle East are using printers that produce their colour documents quickly, consistently and cost-effectively and are hence able to communicate more effectively with their own customers.

     Studies in a major publication revealed that the use of colour increased readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% increase in the retention of material when full colour was used instead of black and white.

    Some businesses are perhaps put off by using colour in their printed documents as it creates a dent in their budgets. This is a misconception. Using colour is not as expensive as you may think. If you need the highest-quality colour pages-say you print out presentations and brochures or you’re an organization who needs top-notch flyers-spending the extra cash for a colour toner based printer makes sense. These printers give you the cleanest and sharpest results. Also, toner based printers print out long documents quickly, at roughly twice the text speed of typical ink jets.

    Whether your printer costs $40 or $400, the purchase price is only the first item on your new list of ongoing printing expenses. Over time, buying the consumables or toner and acquiring media (paper, envelopes, card or transparencies) will very likely make a far bigger impact on your wallet. These costs will vary depending on what you print, how much you print, and what kind of media you use.Bastakia nights

    Shaving cents off  colour printing involves just a little thought, effort, and advance planning. It is a bigger issue than many companies think. With a set of replacement ink cartridges for inkjet printers costing anything up to $55 a time, an office of 20 ‘heavy’ users could be spending over $1,000 a month on ink!

    • Know Before You Buy – Saving money on printing starts (ideally) before you buy the printer. Before you begin researching new models, make sure that you’ll be getting the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. Once you start looking at specific models, make a point of checking the recommended print volume; if you typically print 100 pages a day, for example, don’t buy a printer that’s rated for 500 pages a month.
    • If you do a lot of document printing, don’t use an inkjet printer. Use a toner based printer. Toner based printers cost more to buy but much less to use. With all costs figured in, each document page printed on a typical toner based printer costs from 2 cents to 5 cents; on an inkjet, the cost per page can run from 10 cents to 15 cents, depending on the model. This does not even count the cost of photo printing, which can cost up to a dollar per page on an inkjet when you include the high cost of photo paper and the additional ink that’s used in that mode.
    • Know your hidden costs – Choose a printer not only on the basis of its performance and speed but on the cost of the consumables and not on the cost of the printer. Ink costs swallow up all other expenses over a couple of years of use. Even machines using similar technologies can have very different operating and consumables costs. Evaluating the ongoing costs of a printer can produce some surprising results.
    • Don’t judge a cartridge by price alone; its efficiency, or page yield—the number of pages it can print–matters just as much. Of course, that figure will vary depending on how much ink you use on a page, but the industry standard assumption is 5 percent coverage per page for each colour. Some companies make yield information available on the Web along with other printer specifications; others will provide it if you ask, either by email or phone. You can use yield information to calculate per-page costs, which can be useful in determining what your printing costs for different printers would look like over time. Toner based printer toner cartridges may cost a lot more than ink jet cartridges, but their higher yields make per-page costs lower.
    • The incredible shrunken ‘starter’ cartridge – Many lower-cost toner based printers come with starter cartridges that last anywhere from 60 percent to as little as 33 percent as long as a regular cartridge. Granted, if you don’t print much, that first cartridge could last you a while; but if you know you’ll be printing at least 100 pages per month, either find a printer that comes with a full-size cartridge or factor in the cost of an early replacement. Of course, if you get a great deal on the printer, your overall cost may still be quite affordable.
    • Using standard paper for the job – The heavier, brighter (whiter), or more specialized the paper is, the more it will cost. You’ll generally pay as little as a half-cent per page for typical, 80gsm office paper, or as much as a dollar for an A4 sheet of glossy photo paper. Save the pricey stuff for final prints; for everything else, use decent quality standard copier paper. It will affect the print quality from your toner based printer minimally, if at all.
    • Print using “Draft” mode whenever possible – This won’t help when printing photos, but can save a lot of money over two or three years when you print everyday documents.

    Do you have any tips on choosing a printer for your office? Let us know!

    Show off your true colours with OKI

    Infographic: What your brand colours say about your business

    We came across this cool infographic on colour psychology in business via sgentrepreneurs on pinterest. Being strong believers in the power of colour ourselves, we thought it was a creative way to demonstrate how colour can and should be used effectively in business communication. How are the world’s top brands using colour in their logos? What do your brand colours say about you? How do consumers react to certain colours? It’s all displayed simply for you below.


    Colours … your silent sales person!

    When designing your company’s logo, do you carefully consider your choice of colours or do you just keep trying colours till you see something you like? How about when designing your promotional materials? What about your customers, do you consider what colours appeal to them or do you just say “if it looks good they will like it?”  Many people still think that the effects of colours in business are purely cosmetic but appearance is very small part of the vital role it plays in impressing your customers. As simple as it may sounds, the colour thrust of your printed material whether brochures, presentations or reports, can open the initial door to your customer mind much more quickly than mere words.

    Colours can influence your business and customers in more ways than you could expect.  Colours are a powerful form of communication that derives from our deepest instinct and it’s always in play. Customers’ immediate response will always be to the colours first. They are the first thing we look for to give us information about everything that confronts us. Understanding colour psychology and how it works helps you use colours to influence your customers’ responses to your products and printed materials.

    In one of the latest reports in collaboration with OKI Printing solutions, one of the world’s largest colour printer manufacturers, we managed to lay down some guidelines to help business owners harness the power of colours, when producing their own in-house colour documents. There are two things you have to consider; harmony and reactions to colours.  It’s a scientific fact that we do not respond to one colour – but to all the colours we see; there is no bad colour, just bad colour combinations. One of the most common mistakes businesses make is that of leaving the corporate colours out of the equation when they decide to produce an important promotional document. Every colour you are considering for your document should go with each of the logo colours, this will ensure that the whole document serves to enhance and reinforce your company values, and there are no mixed messages. Colour documents in general provoke between 60 and 70% more response than black and white. However, using colour for the sake of colour can be counterproductive.

    So how can you choose the right colour for your materials?

    It is commonly thought that red is always a winning colour for a corporate because red stimulates us physically and communicates strength and power. However – before you rush to red for your logo or other printed materials, please pause for a moment: there is no such thing as a universally good colour. Red is potentially exhilarating and exciting but if it is not right for your brand, it can be horribly aggressive, demanding and a strain. Impact for its own sake is not enough.

    In a research sponsored by OKI Printing Solutions we established that response to colour is a psychophysical, universal phenomenon that works on two levels:

    Each of the eleven main colours has its own universal effect; that is the first level. However, in practice the effect can be positive or negative. Once you understand what each main colour communicates, decide which one best captures the most positive aspects of your business and then treat that colour with great respect; make sure that you never forget to pay attention to the colours you use with it, so that it always looks good and evokes a positive response.

    To make things easier we cracked the main colours code to help you understand their psychological effect


    Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation, masculinity, excitement

    Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain

    Red has the property of appearing closer than it is, and therefore catches the attention first – it has the most ‘stand-out’.

    Used wrongly, it can be perceived as a strain – aggressive and very harsh.

    If you are selling consumer goods, if your company has anything to do with sport or physical activity, has retail outlets trading in leisure activity or the home, or your business needs to appeal more to the senses than to the mind, red will work well.


    Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm

    Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.

    Blue is the colour of the mind. Strong blues stimulate clear thought and soft blues aid concentration. We instinctively associate blue with clarity and with things working efficiently

    Used wrongly it could be perceived as cold, unfriendly and bureaucratic.

    Blue will work very well if you need your customers to trust you – solicitors, accountants, insurance companies, technology companies and roofing contractors.


    Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity

    Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety

    Yellow is a warm, bright, uncomplicated colour and it stimulates the ego and emotions.

    Used wrongly it can cause anxiety, and when used with black it sends a strong signal of danger.

    Yellow is an effective colour if you are communicating anything new, or anything associated with the young. It is, however, quite a difficult colour to use in graphic design because, oddly, it is not as visible as other colours


    Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, peace

    Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation

    Green is the colour of balance; it strikes the eye at a point where no adjustment is necessary in order to look at it, so it is restful.

    Used wrongly it can be stagnant and far too bland, encourages stillness and lack of action.

    The reassurance of green will be effective for just about any organisation, but particularly for a business whose customers are likely to be tense or nervous – e.g. doctors, dentists or anything medical, or driving schools.


    Positive: spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality

    Negative: introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.

    Often described as Purple, it turns energy in, rather than out, and soothes the emotions.

    Used wrongly, purple can come across as false, and reflect anything but premium quality.

    Purple will work well for any company concerned with the New Age, or who are selling the finest quality goods at the top of the market.


    Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun

    Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

    Orange stimulates the body and the emotions. It is sensual, and activates awareness of secondary survival issues – food, warmth, shelter and physical enjoyment.

    Used wrongly it could reflect lack of seriousness, or intellectual values.

    Orange is the most powerful colour for selling food, heating systems, anything associated with home comfort – and pure fun. 


    Positive: physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species

    Negative: inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness  

    Pink is physically soothing and nurturing; it represents the feminine principle, motherhood and survival of the species.

    Used wrongly it can be physically draining and men will find too much of it emasculating.

    If you are selling feminine products of any kind, lingerie, cosmetics or women’s fashions, pink will capture that essential femininity. Strong fuchsia is the colour of militant feminism!


    Positive: Seriousness, warmth, nature, earthiness, reliability, support

    Negative: Lack of humour, heaviness, lack of sophistication.

    Brown is essentially a serious colour it is always the best colour to communicate no-nonsense, down-to-earth ideas.

    Used wrongly it could be perceived as humourless and heavy.

    Brown would probably not be a strong enough colour to be effective as a main corporate colour. However, if your business is anything to do with the environment, or the natural world, brown is a far more effective secondary colour than black.


    Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance

    Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness

    It is a cold colour and uncompromising; it can be menacing. It certainly is not neutral. It can be very effective in communicating sophisticated elegance, materially aspirational products and glamour. Don’t use black with red for your company if you do not want to remind people of the aggressive and arrogant attitudes of the Third Reich!


    Positive: Hygiene, Sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency

    Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism

    Pure white can be a cold and uncompromising colour because it reflects all wavelengths, thus creating barriers. It is a very strong colour, with a very strong psychology – not by any means, as is widely thought, neutral. It is aspirational and communicates uncompromising quality, hygiene, sterility and attention to detail.

    If you wish to use white for your company, make sure the colours with it are cold and sharp; if you use it with the kind of warm friendly colours that most companies favour, it will turn them from warm and friendly to cheap, and possibly aggressive.


    Positive: Psychological neutrality

    Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy

    People will tell you that grey is elegant. Sadly, except under very specific circumstances, this is not so. Grey says virtually nothing, and usually indicates lack of confidence. It is never to be recommended in any corporate communication.

    So the next time you plan designing any of your promotional materials consider well your choice of colours and remember that they are your silent sales person.

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