Field Notes: Color — The Career Code book

Red and white on the cover

Throughout The Career Code, 8 colors are used: black, white, bright red, bright yellow, light blue, light pink, light purple, and touches of bright orange. As such, the book is colorful with a mix of brights and pastels. The format pattern generally consists of a solid color page with display text in white and another color, before the following pages employ more body text on a white background. The white background with black body copy makes the longer content easy to read and process, while the bright headline colors and pastel intro pages signal that the book will be fun and enjoyable to read.

Light blue, red, and white on intro page — white background w/ black body copy on following page

While black is often used for the body copy against a white background, it is not typically used in any headline or display text. The exception is on the yellow background pages, where no color is used for text apart from black and white. This appears harsh and gives off a much different aesthetic than the other more pastel pages. The yellow, black, and white color combination gives a perceived meaning that is cautionary and serious in a way that doesn’t fit with the fun, soft, more appealing colors on other pages.

Yellow, black, and white

The pastel pinks, purples, and blues used throughout the book have a perceived meaning that projects femininity, which is consistent with the book’s target audience of young women, many of whom are interested in the fashion industry like the authors. However, each of these pastel colors is often paired with a brighter, bolder color like bright red or orange. This balances out the softness and ensures that the overall message is still empowering.

Light pink, orange, and white

Light purple, red, and white