How Color Coverage Affects Your Costs

How Does Color Coverage Affect Your Bottom Line?

Color coverage, in its most elementary form, is the percentage of the page covered in color. However, that description doesn’t tell the whole story.

We’ll go over how much color coverage you can have on a page, how it affects your bottom line, and how you can save thousands of dollars over your color copier’s life.

What Is the Real Maximum Color Coverage A Sheet Can Have?

When dealing with copiers and printers, the maximum coverage isn’t 100%; technically, it’s 380%.

There are four color cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Each cartridge can cover 95% of the page. If your page were completely black, you would have 95% coverage. However, if you were to have a page that’s all orange, you’d have a color coverage of 160%. This strange percentage occurs since your copier used a mix of yellow and magenta to create this color.

When you have a contract that allows for 20% coverage, this number doesn’t refer to 20% page coverage but 5% of each color on the page, making 20%.

How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Color Coverage in Four Steps

  1. If your copier contract has an upcharge provision, get rid of it. If you allow for this upcharge, make sure your historical average stays under 20% for color and 5% for black and white prints.
  2. Compile print files that your copier rep can run. If the rep looks at them and tells you a number without using a real analytics tool, your rep is scamming you, even if unintentionally. To know with any certainty what the color coverage is on a page, you need to use an analytics tool.
  3. Run your high coverage prints on machines that have no coverage restrictions. Run your low coverage prints on a cheaper printer.
  4. Keep in mind that if you use Tabloid sheets, they use twice as much toner as they’re double the size of regular letter sheets.

Follow this advice alone, and you can save up to thousands of dollars over the life of your color copier. Understanding color coverage will save you a lot of money in the long run.


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