The three issues of Fast Company I looked at had Anna Kendrick, Jared Leto, and Diplo on their covers. I think this says something about how the magazine would like to be perceived by audiences. These are all young, successful, entrepreneur-creative types, so we can assume that Fast Company would like to appeal to that audience.
It’s hard to tell, but it looks like Fast Company uses a 12 (possibly more)-column grid. I think this because there are various sizes and widths of cover lines on each issue.
Depending on the issue, Fast Company may use a bunch or very few headlines, it looks like. Anna Kendrick is on the cover of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” Issue, so there are a number of cover lines on that issue. The issue with Jared Leto on the cover focuses more on him, while some cover lines can be found above the magazine title. Diplo’s cover has just as many cover lines as Anna’s. So it looks as if it simply depends on the issue.
Their use of color is quite pertinent. Jared Leto’s face (where my friend pointed out that he looks like Jesus) is stolid over a grey background, bringing out his piercing blue eyes. Anna Kendrick seems to be lying down, because her reddish hair acts like a mane in the photo, comprising the entirety of the cover’s background. On the Diplo issue, the cover photo is Diplo’s head from the shoulders up, off-center, with a light pink background.
In regards to hierarchy, obviously, on each issue. “Fast Company” are the largest words on the page. From there, the main feature is the next largest type, followed by cover line teasers. While the typeface will be large for the feature teasers throughout, their positions on the page may differ. For instance, on the Jared Leto cover, the words “Find Your Mission” are scattered on the page. But the viewer understands the message, due to the fat that each word is the same size and typeface.
There is consistency from issue to issue in that the typefaces used on the cover do not change. While they may differ in size, or in font from month to month, the magazine maintains the same look, so to speak, because the FC typefaces are consistent and recognizable. Also, the FC “logo” is uniquely itself, which lends to the consistency of the publication altogether.
The FC designers utilize different design tactics on the issues I’m looking at. On the Anna Kendrick issue, an orange plus sign is used to separate the larger cover lines from the smaller ones. On Jared Leto’s cover, a pink arrow points to a blue text box that teases one of the other features within the issue. On the Diplo issue, a darker pink text than the background highlights the main words in the cover lines, the rest appearing in black and white. Again, the use of color seems to be important on all of these covers, as well as throughout each issue of Fast Company.