The Everlasting Rivalry: Black and White vs. Color
Whether you are printing promotional materials, photographs, signs for your storefront or business, flyers, or posters, the color question never fails to creep up into the decision making. A lot of people think that by default color is always better and while it is true that color is very powerful in drawing the eye, black and white prints have their own charm and allure that—depending on the product and the intention of the print—can be just as, if not more, effective in making impressions or catching someone’s attention.
When you’re looking at getting some printed materials, there are lots of factors to consider because when it comes to promotional or advertising printed materials, everything has an effect. There are also other considerations like budgeting and audience.
Below are some questions that you might consider when making the decision between going color or doing a one color printing job.
- What is the intention of the printed material? When trying to attract a new audience or call attention to something, color might be an effective way to get a message to ‘pop’ out.
- Does the design emphasize design over copy? If your design is mostly dependent on the imagery then you might consider color a viable option. This, of course, depends on the kind of imagery you are doing and what it’s representing. For the most part, however, if the design is more heavily emphasized on the copy, then black and white might be a good option to get the text to stand out.
- Does the design include your logo or trademark graphic? If you are a small business that has a color associated with your logo or brand, then you want to try and always keep that consistent.
- What is the tone you are going for? A color image and a black and white produce considerably different tones and impressions. Think about the tone you want to create.
The Advantages of Color
Human beings have strong innate responses to certain colors. There are whole fields of psychology dedicated to the way that colors represent or symbolize different things in the subconscious. That is, human beings react to colors in particular ways as they have qualities we automatically associate with emotions or states of mind. Use color when the color matters or has a central significance to your image or the story your graphic is trying to tell. Also, when you are trying to draw strong contrasts between elements in your graphic with color, then it might also be the right choice. If the color is associated with your brand or your company or business, then try to keep the use of that color consistent.
The Advantages of Black and White
When used properly and sparingly a black and white design or image can really be quite eye-catching and memorable. It often immediately has a kind of artsy feel to it, a remnant of the past, a throwback element that seems to be a little more timeless than color. If you’re talking about a photograph, black and white will often accentuate shadows and light. If you have a simple design that wants a very strong message, then black and white might be the right option for you.
The Possibilities With Color and Black and White
What about mixing black and white elements with some color? This can be a great way to draw people’s attention and make just one color stand out. It is an effective way to really emphasize a particular color that makes a strong impression and sticks to people’s memories in association with your brand or product.
Consult the Professionals
Here at Universal Graphics, we love helping people develop their graphics and designs. Whether it is a storefront window banner, wedding invitations, flyers, product presentations, or business cards, we want you to be happy with whatever printed material you need. The question of black and white vs color is a common one, as there are many different factors to consider. If you are looking to print some high-quality materials and are unsure of what route to take, give us a call!