Victoria R: Color

As seen throughout past covers, The Atlantic loves to use the combination of red, white, and black. The job of a cover is to entice readers, and I think that’s why the majority of covers are red. The color pops! It stands out from the neutral covers on the newsstand.

When searching for patterns within the issues, I noticed the photographed men and women often wear red. I think this is effective for a number of reasons. First, it offers consistency. If they were to wear other bright colors, such as orange or pink, the wardrobe would clash with the rest of the scheme. Furthermore, just as it does on the covers, the color red captures the reader’s attention. The reader is forced to pay attention to the subject of the story.


The color red also serves to provide visual cues to the reader. For example, “The Culture File” is introduced with a red band. In addition, alternative story forms use red headings in order to contrast the larger story on the page.

In order to establish hierarchy among the text, the publication often uses red as an accent color, meaning short lines, numbers, brief phrases, and subject headings are red. This works because if red was overused and applied in display text or body copy, the color would overpower the page and overwhelm the reader. That being said, headlines, display text, and body copy are typically black.


According to many sources, red is often associated with strength, power, and passion. That being said, the color red works especially well in this publication because the content revolves around major world players and politicians. Furthermore, the tone of the content is very serious and objective, which is demonstrated in the decision to strictly use the color black in body copy. As a result of this very limited and emotionally-charged color scheme, readers can expect to read bold news from around the world.