Colour photocopying date’s back as far as 1973 when Xerox invented the 914, an analogue colour copier, but it wasn’t until 1987 with the launch of the Canon CLC-1 that colour copying came to popularity. The CLC-1 was a pioneering product, a digital colour laser photocopier that could both print (via a print server) and photocopy in full colour. It brought full-colour production into the office for the first time.
The CLC-1 was an instant success and propelled Canon into being the leading photocopier manufacturer worldwide. The product had a major effect on the printer industry ending short-run colour screen printing. Companies could produce their own full-colour brochures in-house for the first time.
Originally colour photocopiers and colour print servers (manufactured by fiery) were very expensive and it was not uncommon to spend upwards of £20,000 on a system. Today, colour copiers are a tenth of the cost and less if you only require A4 size printing and copying.