sharing thoughts

Design Guru Mario Garcia,well-known consultants Hans Peter Janisch,Charles Apple , Lucie Lacava and Adonis Durado talks exclusively with on the headline color they like. Its really a wonderful experience to read the thoughts of these GREAT designers

Mario Garcia likes BLACK

Black works best.Black is easy to read, don't have to worry about reproduction and printing issues. But it does not mean you cannot put color in a headline, just have to be careful.

Hans Peter Janisch likes COLOR REPETITION

Actually every color might work. It just has to be adjusted to the surrounding parts of the design.The color has to be corresponding to a picture or to other elements of the editorial design.

Imagine the following situation: Dominating picture on top of the page, showing a scene at the beach.

Blue sky, blue sea, little boy playing with yellow bucket.
Of course, I can use that yellow in others parts of my design. Use the design principle of repetition and use it for a headline.
But something like this should not be over-used. The more you use such a design, the
less impressive it becomes. So everything is possible, as long as it is not used on a daily basis.
This question can be answered like many other design questions: the fewer, the better.

Lucie Lacava likes WHITE

WHITE. Because just like black it does not call attention to itself. Of course this will only work if reversed on a tabloid cover photo or a poster front. Any other colour will look sensational in a news environment, and is more appropriate for a feature treatment.

Charles Apple likes RED

I believe in using color as a way of communicating information and to steer the reader's eye around the page. I dislike using color as a decorative element. And my color choices reflect that philosophy.

I typically use a lot of red. Red for highlighted text, numbers, map highlights -- things like that. I try to use a bright red with just a touch of blue. For years, I used something like this...


…which was a color we had used at the Chicago Tribune, back in the 1990s.

In 2006, the wonderful Deborah Withey redesigned the Virginian-Pilot, including its color palette. Right off the bat, she eliminated my red and replaced it with something that seemed less than bright. She called it "Dark tomato":


Well, I was horrified. Not bright enough for my tastes. Until we put it on the page and printed it. It worked wonderfully well on the Pilot's printing presses and was just a touch more sophisticated than the plain red I had been using. Proving, of course, why she's Deborah Withey and I'm not.

Now, for charts -- especially money charts -- I advise folks stay away from reds. For English speakers, at least, red in any kind of financial context evokes the thought of "red ink," losing money or deficits. Fine, if that's what the story is about. But it's much safer -- from a content point of view -- to find a more neutral color. So for most of my bar charts, I stick with two shades of blue. Something like this...


…and this:


Again, though, when Deb redesigned the Pilot, she gave us some blues but also asked us to use this teal color she called "Oceana," named after the local navy air base:


Which gave us a distinctive look that tied into our area's seagoing culture. Here is the half-shade of that, of course:

c30, m0.y10.k20

This teal worked INCREDIBLY well against the brick-orange color I mentioned earlier. Because, after all, orange and teal are much closer to being complimentary colors than are red and blue, which are primaries. Simple color theory. Right?

So the advice I give to folks rethinking their color palettes:

1. Think about what the color SAYS, more than what it looks like.

2. Don't consider your colors individually. Consider their use in groups.

3. Use colors simply and sparingly. But the actual mixes for those colors -- more complex mixes create a more polished, sophisticated look.

4. When in doubt, use Deborah Withey's colors. She's amazing.

Adonis Durado likes RED

There is no other potent color than "red". But it should be used wisely-only when you try to invoke something, only when it's needed.

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