Week 5 –NatGeo – Color

In the story of “First City”, NG uses red color to highlight the hed, which echoes with the main color in the photo – a red dress and the red lip. Though the color is not exactly the same (the hed red is darker then the pic red), it directs the reader’s attention and intrigues questions. What city is called “first”? How does the woman on the picture relate to the story? What does the dek say?

The contrast among red, black, and white expresses the consistent simple and classy style of NG. Besides, in the package, the other three parts continue to use red heds, giving the reader hints that the content is under one issue. Here, color is an subconscious clue to classify content.

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Considering the page as a whole, the designer concerns the methodology of putting various elements together organically. In order to make sure the elements get along with each other, the art of color usage matters. For example, the matching between purple and yellow, blue and yellow; the contrast between the bright color and dark background.

mmap-cue photo 1 (3)

NG’s iconic impression among the audience is the yellow frame. Meanwhile, for the symbol of each department, NG follows the same color as visual clues. It helps the reader to navigate the content, and makes senses of context .

photo 1 yellow cue

For the body copy, NG have the pattern of black and grey, which set the primary apart from the secondary text. The white space and background also gives readers’ eyes a break among the visuals.


The background color varies from black, white, and the color of the full page image itself. Colors could make the subject stand out automatically. The colorful pics are pair with black to offset the contrast.

white space contrast

black background

The color use affects hierarchy. The echoing orange separate the words from others.


However, for the full page photo, we should concern whether embedding the text into photos make the text clear enough. In this case, it could be better if adds an opacity layer under the text.