Why yellow is better than white when you want to get attention

Admiral Storage stores paper.  Legal documents, agreements, invoices, receipts – all the records that Revenue and Customs insist that we keep.  And come to that, anything else that you want to store.

Most of the paper stored with us is white paper – a fact that I mentioned in passing on my last post (http://www.blog.archive-document-storage.co.uk/?p=76)

But some of the paper we have in storage for our clients is yellow, and I have been asking anyone who might listen to me, why yellow?  I know there used to be things called “Legal Pads” which were yellow, but still I ask the question, “Why yellow?”

According to one website I looked at (and remembering that 125% of all statistics on the internet are made up I am not sure this information is that reliable), the legal pad originated through the work of Thomas Holley, of the American Pad and Paper Company.  He had the idea of using scraps of paper left after cutting it into sheets, to make small notepads.

Because legal firms started to use these notepads (presumably because they were easily placed in client files) they became known as Legal Pads.

Previously, these left overs had gone to waste, so the raw material was available to him free – and he produced notepads in an assortment of sizes.  But the scraps could come in all colours, and so needed re-dying – and a colour needed to be chosen. Ultimately it was yellow.

The American Pad and Paper Company claims that yellow was chosen because is a more intellectually stimulating colour although I have no idea what evidence there is for that. Others say that yellow produces less glare and is less troublesome to some people than white.

But there is another reason why one should consider yellow – at least in certain circumstances. There is considerable research that shows that when a direct mail advert is sent out through the post on light yellow paper with black print, it gets a higher response rate than when printed on white paper.

The reason might be one of glare, as suggested above, but it is also worth noting that the combination of black and yellow is sometimes known as “nature’s danger signal”.  As an example of why just think of stinging insects such as wasps and bees which have evolved this colouring as a warning to predators.

But whatever the reason, black on yellow does attract attention – and people do not seem to shun away from the combination, but instead do read what is on the paper.

Of course we don’t mind what colour the paper is that we store – because we store paper of all types in our secure environment.  You even get your own locked storage area so that no one else can have access to your materials.

There are more details on our website or give us a call on 0800 783 9516.

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