Recently I was discussing with Karen Hope, the co-founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online, how colors help people, with dyslexic issues, retain the spelling of individual words. She said that research shows yellow paper with black text is an effective tool with helping memory. When she told me about this I remembered something I had learned about ten years ago.
I was enrolled in a local Technical College in a 2 year Civil Engineering Technology program. The entire program was extremely intense with lots of short duration courses. I can still remember how overwhelmed I was with all the new information I had to learn. One of the instructors insisted that we do all of our rough calculations and drawings for the multi-page engineering problems on yellow paper but with red ink. There were about 20 students in the class and none of us had heard of this method of recording our work. He told us that he had heard from a psychologist friend that the combination of red on yellow was helpful with memory.
My associate confirmed what I remembered was valid by finding some established research on the yellow on red topic and sure enough she found data that showed the combination of red on yellow was effective in assisting people with memorizing information. This doesn’t prove anything about yellow and black versus yellow and red but it does show that using colors can be an effective tool in helping with memory. I am not dyslexic but I know I process information in a very right brained fashion and remember that particular class was one of the least stressful classes in the Civil Engineering program. I got better marks on average and a lot of that information seems to have stuck with me to this day.
Editor for Dyslexia Victoria Online
Update: November 26, 2010
An article we found on research with red for memory.
Reinvent Wheel? Blue Room. Defusing a Bomb? Red Room.
By PAM BELLUCK
and another study…..