Color Printing vs. Black & White Printing Costs
If you’re responsible for purchasing new toner or ink for your company’s printers, you likely have noticed the cost differential between printing in color versus black and white. Copying and printing in color always comes at a higher cost.
The pressing question for most businesses is “Why is printing and copying in color more expensive?” Hint: It has nothing to do with a shortage of color toner cartridges or the cost of ingredients in color toner.
Here are some reasons why the cost of color printing is more expensive they standard black and white.
Color Printing Uses Multiple Cartridges
Full-color CMYK printing uses four ink colors: (C)yan, (M)agenta, (Y)ellow, and blac(K). CMYK printing creates a full spectrum of colors resulting in a beautiful, high-quality finished product. As a result, more toner is used per page. Conversely, black and white printing only uses the black cartridge and utilizes the paper’s white space to produce the printed image. Black and white printing is more cost-effective but the black is not as rich or vibrant. However, the number of cartridges used is only one factor in the higher cost of color printing.
Color Printing Mixes Toner
When printing in black and white, only the black toner cartridge is used. To create color, more than one color cartridge will be used and in some cases, all the cartridges may be utilized at the same time to create some colors. Instead of consuming the toner in one cartridge, you could be using all four. This results in faster depletion of toner and the need for more frequent replacement.
Type of Documents or Images Printed
Think about it: there is a vast difference between what you choose to print in color versus those black and white. Black and white printing is usually reserved for documents (i.e. letters, forms, policies & procedures); basically black letters on a white page with a lot of white space. Print jobs such as these do not require a lot of toner, and therefore, cost less.
However, a promotional flyer, a report or a graph require the full color and detail that color printing provides. For example, a one-page document with a pie graph uses multiple colors to show different variables will use significantly more toner than a one-page black and white document. Not only are multiple cartridges being used at the same time, but more of each toner is used on each page printed in color.
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