Color, Virginian-Pilot

Color use in the Virginian-Pilot is largely image-driven. On A1, the frequent half-page images provide the paper with its color. The paper sparingly uses colored headlines and instead uses a goldenrod text color for subject headings or teaser headlines. The same goldenrod color does show in headlines occasionally, along with a vibrant light red color, but the majority of color on the page usually comes from the photo. The paper also uses a diluted blue color occasionally to work in conjunction with the goldenrod color. This maintains a serious tone on the page, since the use of image and headline are progressively designed enough to challenge traditional newspaper conventions. By sparingly using color in headlines and text, the V-P can convey an authoritative tone and avoid appearing too much like a magazine.

With that said, though, color does play a large role in the Virginian-Pilot design. It’s a colorfully designed paper, but the only set color in the palette is the goldenrod color. The use of photos and illustrations in the paper confer with this color, and create unique palettes across issues. This gives the paper a more progressive, contemporary feel.

The inside pages utilize mostly black and white. However, section fronts are in color, with levels of color varying from issue to issue. On occasions, large images and illustrations fill up most of the page with color. In the sports section, the day of the week is olive colored. This gives the sports section a unique and more playful vibe.

Overall, the V-P smartly uses color in the publication. The large, colorful images with highlighted text in quiet, subdued colors balances the edgy design with serious newspaper traditionalism. The result is a publication that is stern in tone, but creative enough to find alternative ways to display color and images inside the newspaper formula.

chrisballard