Locating a particular radiograph from a radiographic envelope can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of colour and number coding of radiographs in reducing time taken to locate films and thereby improve efficiency. The time taken by clinicians to retrieve films from a radiographic envelope was measured. The radiographs were coded by number, number and colour or not at all. Results show a statistically significant reduction in time taken to find number coded versus non-coded radiographs. A further benefit was gained by using colour coding in conjunction with number coding. We recommend the use of colour and number coding of radiographs in clinical practice.