Brianna Williams – Field Notes: Color

ESSENCE uses color to differentiate hierarchy. For example on the table of contents page, the accent color of yellow is used to highlight page numbers, as well as the title of the color story. In smaller compilation features, color is used for names and other important info to separate from the body of the story or text copy.

Majority of the color elements come from photos that are in the magazine. ESSENCE uses vibrant and striking photos to draw readers in. For beauty and hair stories, the photos are bright and eye-catching.

Color is also used in callout boxes that feature more information about the writer of a piece or for sidebar information. Anything that warrants extra attention gets designated a color.

For drop caps, color is also used to call attention to the beginning of a story. This technique is also used for quotation marks.

I’ve noticed that the color of an element in ESSENCE is used for a particular reason. Whether it’s to draw attention to something, or for hierarchy purposes, color is not just used as something to add, but used for a purpose. I noticed this magazine uses color a lot as an accent, which makes it less overwhelming when used. I think color is used to help the reader along easily, and doesn’t shock them when they come across it.