Field Notes: Color in National Post

National Post uses primarily black for body and display copy.  Display copy will run in color when it is incorporated into an illustration, or when used as part of the primary graphic on the paper’s A1 or a section front. Some heads and teasers run in a blue-green color atop the nameplate.

The most notable use of color–of course–is in the nameplate, which consistently appears along the left side in bright yellow with black text. It’s still somewhat surprising to me that the National Post’s nameplate always runs in this bright yellow color, as it feels so different from what most U.S. newspapers I’m familiar with. The yellow certainly catches your attention, and I imagine it’s easy to distinguish the National Post from others on the newsstand, but it still feels a bit overdone to me for an A1. I imagine the yellow feels less harsh in print (and printed on newsprint rather than the white a screen sets the page against) than it does on the screen.

The section fronts feature various colors along the left edge that often complement the primary illustration or photograph. The finance section runs in blue consistently, and a teaser for the Financial Post will run in the same color on the A1, which effectively works to create cohesion and structure.

I think the National Post uses color most effectively in running very colorful illustrations. While that may not seem worth noting, I think it speaks to the publication’s overall tone, which is often a little cheeky and fun, specifically with their weekend editions. I mean, today they ran a section front with the headline “Introducing the Schmoscards” with colorful graphic featuring a shrugging Oscar statue. Fun stuff.

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