As in most aspects, the New York Times is pretty conventional when it comes to color. It’s black and grey. You don’t get the nickname “The Grey Lady” by using a lot of colors and pictures.
The most creative use of color comes in the headers for different sections. Two word sections will be split between grey and black, typically for The Arts. Then the words are put together so the distinction is only the color “TheArts.” In a recent edition, Weekend Arts has two sections of the paper. The words “Weekend Arts” are both in black, but then the roman numeral following it is in grey “I” and “II”.
The front pages of sections use color for their photos. Inside, certain pages have color. When the images are in color, it provides a pretty big contrast because everything else is in black and grey. Where there is color within the news section, the images grab your attention because it’s usually something extraordinary (like conflict) and it jumps out.
A lot of the color used in the paper appears to be saved for the Arts sections, which makes sense because color can be a lot more important to show with artwork than with news stories.
Lastly, overall the thing that jumps out to me is the amount of color used for advertisements – in particular full-page ads. It makes sense to save that use for the people who are giving you the money that allows you to produce the paper.