Running Times has established a color palette and set of parameters for their use them and even more importantly, when to break those rules (fig. 1) The standard colors used are cyan, yellow, and black with reverse type. Body copy and bylines are always black unless it is in a side bar, where it appears in cyan. Yellow is used to highlight important call outs or any other primary, pertinent, information. Cyan signifies information of secondary importance. It’s soft enough not to interrupt the reader as he or she moves through the page but enough to stand out from the body. Cyan is also used in graphs and charts. Both colors also appear in graphics and the furniture of the publication.
Sometimes, art direction will take it a step further and pull color from the photography. On these pages, the color palette is pulled from rich images but often of a soft hue (fig 2.) It gives the reader some variety from what they typically see but is still presented in a manner that is consistent with the publications aesthetic. Pulling colors makes the page feel more like an entire composition rather than a collection of parts.
When they break their standard conventions for copy and sidebars, text appears in colored bands that compliment other things on the page, much like their treatment with compelling photos (fig 3.) Sidebars and subheads in these atypical colors provide variety and catch the readers attention. They employ this technique especially with feature stories to set them apart from regular content. It’s a fun way to get engagement from the reader as he or she flips through the magazine.