Black and White vs Colour

 In Presentation tips

Over the last week I have been doing a bit of research on the use and effect of colour vs. black and white images in advertising, and asking myself whether the same principles apply to presentations.

One thing is clear, both advertisements and presentations need to attract, whether it be to attract people to buy a new product, to try a new service, or understand a concept, the purpose of both the advertisement and the presentation is firstly to grab the audience’s attention, and secondly to aid recall.

Using colour is one way of doing this.  There have been numerous studies done that show that the use of colour in advertisements wins hands down in attracting readers, in assisting with recall and in building branding presence.  Psychologists have found that we are far more likely to recall something we have seen in colour than we are to recall something we have seen in black and white.  It appears that our memories function better in colour!

It seems that colour appeals to our senses more strongly, colours contain information that enable our brains to process and store images more efficiently than those in black and white, and as a result we remember them more clearly.

It is interesting that some studies have shown that only natural colours have this impact on us, that is, if we see an image that has been falsely coloured then our brains do not make the same type of connection, the strong association isn’t there and therefore the image does not have the same impact.

Now that you have this information, will you limit yourself to using colour images in your next presentation or perhaps experiment with a strong and carefully placed black and white image?  Will it create a solid visual impact?  Will it be at the expense of long term recall?

Something to keep in mind for your next presentation!

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