What Is The Most Popular Color? (It’s not Red)



What's your favorite color?

And what is the most popular color of toner for your laser printer?

Such questions have plagued humanity since the birth of the laser printer, and the answer is more complicated than you think.

Well, not really.

Bet On Black

You are correct if you guessed the most popular toner color is black. Black outsells all other colors of toner by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.

According to GMInsights, the toner market was valued at $3.33 billion in 2020, with sales of color toner cartridges accounting for roughly half of that number, or $1.71 billion.

Conventional toner cartridges, like those used in home and office printers, accounted for 70% of that revenue.

Most printed text is black-and-white, and even the most colorful photos dip into black. Black ink and toner are everywhere, part of the fabric of our very existence.

What is Our Favorite Color?

According to the folks at LiveScience, the most popular colors are:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Orange

So, the simple answer is blue. In 2015, YouGov conducted a survey across ten countries on four continents which indicated blue is the most popular color by a wide margin.

A 2017 study of 30,000 people across 100 countries by GF Smith showed that a deep shade of teal, dubbed Marrs Green, was the most popular color.

Marrs Green was voted the World's Most Popular Color in a 2017 in UK

Marrs Green was voted the World's Most Popular Color in a 2017 survey conducted by UK paper manufacturer G.F. Smith. The color is named for UNESCO worker Annie Marrs, who was inspired by the River Tay, the longest river in Scotland.

But simple answers are never truly complete. As Meryl Streep's character notes in The Devil Wears Prada, blue is never just blue.

It's a multitude of shades and hues that take a village of ink and toner to reproduce.

Streep's character berates her hapless assistant for not knowing the difference between the shades of blue.

"That sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that, in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, and then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn't it?… who showed cerulean military jackets. … And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores, and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars of countless jobs…"

What Toner Is Most Fashionable?

Even though blue and its various shades may be humankind's favorite color, cyan is not the second best-selling toner color after black.

It's magenta.

Why magenta? Because red is often mixed in with black to deepen the color.

A bit of magenta goes into producing brilliant black hues. Magenta is also used for nearly all darker color shades — from deep purple to annoying orange.

Understanding CMYK

Color laser printers use the CMYK system to create images.

That means each of the four colors — C (cyan), M (magenta), Y (yellow), and (K) black — are used to create all of the other color variations.

The deeper and darker your color palette, the more toner your laser printer will consume. Lighter colors use less toner overall.

Stack of Ink Cartridges

Both inkjet and laser printers break color images down into four colors: black (K), cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y). We're partial to magenta, but don't tell the others!

Even the simplest of prints use a variety of colors, and this is true for both inkjet and laser printers. Colors are a complex blend of CMYK.

Even basic black consumes a bit of cyan, magenta, and yellow. In general, the cyan, magenta, and yellow toner is consumed at a slower rate than the black toner.

Does Colored Toner Cost More?

Magenta toner cartridges cost the same as cyan and yellow cartridges. Black toner is usually slightly less expensive.

For example one of the most widely used toner sets HP 414A has magenta color toner (W2023A) that goes for $112.99, and the price is same for the cyan toner (W2021A) and the yellow toner (W2022A). 

The black toner (W2020A) is a bit cheaper at $86.99.

However, some black toner cartridges are priced higher because they contain more toner and produce a higher page yield.

This is done so that the toner in your laser printer is consumed at roughly the same rate.

Saving money on toner cartridges is easy with Toner Buzz. We offer the largest selection of toner cartridges on the planet and the lowest prices anywhere.

Plus, shipping is always FREE! Stock up on original OEM toner cartridges at Toner Buzz today!

Further Reading:

Rob Errera

Rob Errera

Rob Errera is an award-winning journalist embedded in the world of printers and printing supplies. Rob has nearly two decades of experience writing about cutting edge technology, business trends, and the ever-evolving industry of printing.

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