Running Times employs a wide array of image and photo treatments that work in unison, complimenting both the story and other images surrounding them, even in non-related articles. The focus of all imagery in the publication is always the runner, making the human aspect and actions the most important part of what is seen.
What I’ve noticed to first determine treatment is the type of story. Service pieces typically use infographics or illustrations to compliment the story (fig 1.) The styles of these drawings are bright, colorful, and sometimes comic-like; but never distracting (fig 2.) The color palette for illustration is primarily bright blue, black, white, and another complimenting color.
Designers feature a great deal of silhouetted figures at multiple scales, determined by the length of the story (fig 3.) If the image is a silhouette of the subject taken from a photo, it is often de-saturated and juxtaposed with an illustrative pattern whose colors are picked up from the content copy (fig 4.) And type is very rarely, if ever, superimposed over the photo. The subject tends to be the focus of the photo and conveys a sense of action.
Feature stories command a full spread and use large, rich, photographs. They usually begin with one large photo, and continue the theme with smaller landscape photos throughout the piece or more silhouettes (fig 5.) There is never one aspect of the layout that demands attention over something else. The eyes move quite seamlessly from copy to image to illustration and back without getting bored or stuck.
What I find most interesting is the cover, though. It’s the one area I see the image actually layered with the copy and creating something spatial to look at. The other pages are always arranged beautifully, but I find the cover to be most stimulating.