Fast Company’s color palette is basically this: funky. For being a magazine about business and entrepreneurship, they sure know how to play the mood as fun. While they surely use a lot of black and white, and those are their predominant colors, they splash every single spread with bright colors in one way or another, whether that is their main headline, or the little graphic elements decorating the text, and providing divisions between Heds and subheds. In these small design elements is where they rest the biggest use of color in their spreads.
This is effective because it immediately draws your eye to what’s important on the page, such as the beginning paragraph on an article.
They make up for the lack of color in heds and subheds by making their images colorful, using color bleeds and light bleeds as I previously discussed in my Images entry. Their illustration is always outrageous colorful as well. The reason why I think this works is because it breaks the seriousness from the topics they typically discuss. It provides a nice balance for their readers to feel like their career choice is one they have fun in, for example.
One color I’ve noticed they make a lot of use of is a mustard yellow. They use it allow for overlayed boxes of text, or graphic design elements in the periphery of their pages. Yellow is a sunny color, one that relaxes and invigorates. I think this is a way they might want to make their readers feel. They use a lot of pink in these elements, as well, which to me, contradicts the inherent “masculinity” of the topic at hand, at least it being a career typically dominated by men.
Occasionally, but very rarely, they will make their pull quotes colorful, highlighting a word or two that is meant to stand out among the rest of the quote. Overall, I think their usage of color works. It provides a little relaxation to a topic that otherwise can feel a little stiff. It keeps the magazine young. I also feel like the color leads my eye directly to the places where they’d like me to go first on a page.