Fast Company—Color

Fast Company makes excellent use of color on their covers as well as throughout the entirety of each publication. Their nameplate is black or white, depending on the issue, but the color on the covers varies issue by issue. The issue with Diplo on the cover, for instance, is a soft pink background with a black nameplate. Anna Kendrick’s cover issue utilizes her red hair as the main color, behind a white nameplate. Jared Leto’s face appears on a grey-blue background on his cover issue.

I could not find a specific color palette for Fast Company online. But plenty of colors (aside from the quintessential black and white) can be seen throughout each issue of the magazine. As I mentioned in the last post, FC includes different colored shapes and arrows to act as visual cues for stories. Of these I noticed pink, green, and orange triangles, rectangles, and circles. Their use of color is prevalent in text as well. Fast Company often uses colored text to break up big chunks of black and white text. For instance, in a Q&A article, the questions will be in a different color, and the answers will be in black. They will also use a color to highlight plain white or black text over a photo or for a pull quote, or even have entire graphs of text in a singe color (see below).

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Blues, greens, oranges, and pinks seem to be the predominantly used colors throughout Fast Company. For the design of one article in the November issue, color is very much highlighted in the title, which appears on the corner of each page, because each letter in the title is a different color (green, orange, blue, and pink). It works because the title is “Generation Flux,” and the colors indicate and accentuate this hinted-at fluctuation (see below).

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In another story in the same issue, color is used to accentuate a black and white graphic that introduces the story by incorporating pink and yellow lines in the design of the hed & dek (see below). Throughout the rest of the piece, yellow boxes bring a splash of color to what would be kind of plain and boring black & white text.

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The photos in Fast Company always make great use of color, as do the illustrations. In the Front of Book, the reader will come across a number of circumstances where the entire background of a story is one color, or in which a photograph is used as the background for a piece.

I like the way that FC utilizes color in that while it differs from issue to issue, there is consistency in some elements across the board. For instance, with the little triangles and rectangles that are recurring in each issue. In general, FC has found a way to incorporate color in each story while not over-stimulating or overwhelming the reader. I think they do a great job of keeping the stories and corresponding visuals looking very smart. Even in a colorful title like “Generation Flux,” it is small and isolated enough that it works. 

beckyshafer