Rolling Stone: Color

The color pallet for Rolling Stone is very simplistic. The entire magazine is in Red Black and White. Body copy is always in Black and Heds and deks differentiate between the three color options.

Because of this decision there is a clear cohesion and feel to the magazine’s presentation. Where the publication tends to take some risk and make articles stand out with color choices is the feature section in which the color choice is dictated by the photos taken. Because of this each issue gets a subtle and different feel that gives each issue its own individuality.

However when it comes to the publications use of hierarchy there is a common theme in that they tend to use to color red as a means to guide the reader throughout. In the heading of most sections you will find a red box that encloses a set of text that was originally in the table of contents. Because of this it is easy to thumb through different sections and see where you need to be for a given section. While these boxes are visually grabbing they are not overwhelming because the type is so much smaller than the headline you find lower on the page. That way if you were just reading from page to page you’d be more inclined to first read the headline and then see whats section you happened to be in.

Overall the publications use of color seems to be for purposes of uniformity which can appear slightly dull. But when you see the way in which the manipulate font sizes throughout there is a clear sense of hierarchy that helps get the message of a given article across. What makes Rolling Stone so effective is their manipulation of color throughout because by limiting themselves to specific colors they create clear hierarchies that discipline the reader into reading the page a certain way.

Analyzing color has been incredibly useful because it has helped show how important it is to identify with a color a scheme and carry that throughout the publication.

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