Through this assignment, I realized something that I’m sure my subconscious had noticed long ago: Fast Company relies heavily on images. Reading FC is very truly a visual experience, from the design of the pages to the use of photos and illustrations.
The first thing a reader will notice when flipping through FC is that the main type of image used is photos. The covers are pretty much always a tight shot of a celebrity or otherwise famous person. That stays consistent throughout the magazine’s pages, as most of the photos are medium or close-up shots of the subjects.
The way photographs are manipulated, however, varies in Fast Company. There’s a mix of rectangular images set apart from the text, silhouetted images, and photographs used as the background for text.
I even came across a superimposed photo—just one, but it was very interesting. There was a photo collage in the main feature story of the December/January issue, too.
Each story in Fast Company is accompanied by at least one image—whether it be a photo, illustration, or some kind of graphic element. Although most of the graphic elements I found were embedded into the design of the story itself. For instance, FC often uses small colored shapes as visual cues for the reader. I noticed triangles, circles, and rectangles of various colors. I like this because it’s a simple way to implement design throughout a piece.
Fast Company also utilizes smart, colorful illustrations. I came across a story in the December/January issue that was a completely illustrated foldout (above). I love how colorful it is. It really causes the reader to pause and look. Here’s another example of an illustration in the magazine.
I love that illustration. It’s just smart. The details are great, which can be said for all of the illustrations I came across in my issues of Fast Company. They heavily use “little people” in their illustrations. The magazine’s images as a whole definitely perpetuate the people-oriented brand that is Fast Company.