Quantifying the Business Problem
A great deal of research has been done over the years on the power of color to influence, to differentiate and to communicate. And, though the benefits of color have been well quantified when applied to sales, marketing and branding, little research has been conducted on how the benefits of color plans and blueprints apply to construction.
However, because many of the major printer manufacturers have a first-hand view of the benefits of color printing, the following companies can serve as viable resources:
OcÚ: Video entitled "The Value of Color in Design/Build." The video presents information regarding the impact of color on project metrics.
J.L. Morton: One of the leading authorities on the use of color is professor, author and color consultant J.L. Morton. Morton is a color psychology and branding expert with a background in architecture. Her Website, Why Color Matters, offers a wide range of educational materials and references. Under the Color Informs heading, J.L. Morton lists the percentages by which color can improve readership, learning and comprehension.
Inter-Society Color Council: This organization's Website states their goal of "advancing the knowledge of color as it relates to art, science, and industry." The site offers an impressive list of "member bodies" including a number of print-related associations.
Xerox: On the Xerox Small Business Tips website, the company has a handful of links under the category Color Trends & Strategies. One of these is an article called 20 Ways to Improve Business with Color, which includes statistics about the benefits of color.
HP: On the HP Website for small and medium business, the company has a Color Printing Center with tips for color use under the title "The Power of Color." Here HP states "Color can have an astounding impact on all the communications that fuel your organization's success." Here they explain how to use color to "Engage, Inform, Persuade."
Though many color resources, like the Inter-Society Color Council, reference the same handful of studies on the subject of the benefits of employing color, many of the studies are outdated and unrelated to the industries of architectural, engineering and construction. The lack of qualified research is likely the result of insufficient funding.
Despite the limited research data, architectural, engineering and construction professionals are now more likely to respond positively to the use of color plan sets, which improve project metrics. Much of their hesitation has been alleviated by putting the cost-savings of wide format color printing in perspective. For example, contractors aren't likely to respond attentively to discussion topics such as reducing printing costs or improving document workflows. However, when highlighting the reductions of requests for information (RFI) and change orders, wide format color printing becomes a priority.
Resource Center Home Printing Construction Documents in Color