Billing Design Best Practices: Let Color Do the Talking

Color plays an increasingly important role within transactional documents. We asked our in-house design experts, Bobby Schwegler and Ashley Sherrow, to share some tips on how to use color to make the most of your invoice or statement.

 1. What is the overall value of bringing color into your invoice or statement?
Ashley:  I’ve seen firsthand the transformation that takes place when we convert our invoices to full color. It has the power to transition your invoice into a more strategic and customized communications tool and really enhance the overall customer experience.

2. What’s the first thing you consider when incorporating color into an invoice or statement design?
Bobby:  The best thing you can do is to make sure you take advantage of full color from a branding standpoint.  By using all the elements in your branding, the invoice and statement can move beyond simply being a transactional document — it can be a brand messenger. When used properly, color is your strategic weapon in not only creating a smart invoice, but a compelling invoice as well.

3. What design elements do you need to consider?
Ashley: An invoice or statement is an important communications tool, so it’s critical that it is designed well. The first thing we do is work with each customer to achieve an overall design that fits their specific needs. Then, we work to find a balance using text, color, graphics and white space.  Sometimes, there is a strong temptation to go overboard but color should be used wisely to organize and call attention to the important information.  Using too much color can actually make your statements hard to read, which can result in customer confusion and late payments.

4. What design considerations do you need to take into account for our production environment?
Bobby:  We print our full color documents on Xerox 980 printers. These are toner-based high speed printers that produce high quality color across long production runs. But documents with too much color use excess toner, creating print quality issues and increasing printing costs.  So it goes back to being smart about how you use color.

5. So given the production environment, how can clients use color to their advantage?
Ashley: We follow some hard and fast rules to make sure color is used appropriately.  Always avoid the use of gradients and shading of any kind, as well as dark backgrounds.  Incorporate white space as a design element and use color to highlight the information that you determine to be most critical. Use the less is more approach to achieve a clear, easy-to-read invoice or statement that resonates with your customers.

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