Esquire | Color | Field Notes

Esquire magazine uses many different colors throughout its issues. The colors depend on what the overlying theme and color for the entire issue is. The basic color palette id black, white, blue, red and yellow. These five colors are always seen throughout the magazine. The black and white, of course, are used for typography and helps to create some sense of contrast. The colors red and blue are used for accents or for the other details through the magazine, like jump elements, dingbats, and other furniture aspects. The red is used to point out something specific in the story. The blue is also used for subheads, this helps to break up the black and white text. Finally, the color yellow is used often to help the reader make the distinction that a portion of text is a caption rather than a part of the regular text. They alternate certain elements and colors in order to make the reader engage throughout the magazine. This works, because it’s a part of the magazine’s overall infrastructure.


In terms of headlines and cutlines, the typography color can bounce between black, red and blue. These colors tend to be the main colors that the magazine uses to distinguish its typography.


The photos in the magazine tends to vary in color. The photos tend to be in color, especially for features and editorial shoots.


The nameplate is a piece of important and critical matter that the magazine tends to have more fun with. Depending on the issue, the nameplate’s color changes. This works, because the audience never truly knows what to expect. This works because overall, it’s fun and adds an element of surprise.



This color palette works because it helps to solidify the identity of the magazine. These colors are strong and domineering which are both qualities of the Esquire man. The reader can get that the magazine is about having fun but still wants to be respected as a sophisticated and intellectual entity. The base palette of the magazine allows for the creators to have more fun and invite more colors to the palette on a temporary basis. Thus, allowing them to be distinguishable without having to make a fuss or a big change to its already recognized aesthetic.