Media Magazine

New Straits Times Relaunch: Creating the Color Palette

Posted on the 08 November 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: As the countdown to 11-11-11 gets closer, we devote this week’s blog to the rethinking of the new New Straits Times of Malaysia. Today: the role of color   Tomorrow: Rethinking the digital side of the NST

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Here is the final draft of the New Straits Times color palette

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Here is how the color coding of sections works

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Elements to inspire our color palette for the New Straits Times

Color is so often taken for granted in our ever so colorful world.

I notice that as we read case studies of media design—-regardless of platform—few references are made to color.  Yet, aside from typography, it is color that offers us an important part of the first 10-second impression whether we are looking at a printed front page, a home page of an online edition, or the tablet.

Perhaps there is a generation of designers out there—the younger ones—-who don’t remember what it was like to work just in black and white (I still love black and white pages, however).

To me, once the story structures are decided, and typography selected to dress them up, then the next logical step is the creation of a color palette.

The color palette of a daily newspaper evolves as a result of various
decisions: for me, I start with my surroundings.  What is the color palette of this city, this country? That is the first step.  For Malaysia, I was a mix of strong colors, with red dominating, but also orange.  Look at the composite I have put together here: the sights, the food, the fashion. It all comes together to offer the designer an idea of what hues to create for the pages of the newspaper.

In some cases, however, the editors wish to use color to create an identity for the newspaper, NOT one inspired by the surroundings of the place where it is published.  As a result, pastels may be utilized for a newspaper that wants to appear serious, authoritative, while bright yellows may serve the downmarket tabloid well, regardless of geographic location.

In my view, however, it is better to let the surroundings inspire you.

For the new New Straits Times, we have come up with a color palette that includes bright, warm colors.  As sections are color coded, we have red, blue, green, gold and orange as the primary colors in the palette.

The softest pastels include a champagne shade and a soft gray for infoboxes.

The infographics use primarily a top line in the color of the section in which they appear, with a sandtone for background.

Our previous New Straits Times posts

New Straits Times relaunch: The Typography

Creating some basic pop up moments in your tablet

Emphasizing the New in the New Straits Times: Part 3—a_new_tablet_edition/

Emphasizing the New in the New Straits Times: Part 2

Emphasizing the New in the New Straits Times: Part 1

Tomorrow: The new New Straits Times tablet edition

A page we like

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Alas, the editorial on Page One.

It makes a strong statement for its unusual placement.

It signals that this is not your ordinary everyday editorial tucked away in some hidden corner of the Commentary page.

That is the case in this front page from Pennsylvania’s The Patriot News covering a major local story about a popular ex college football coach accused of sexually abusing boys in his trust.

We like how the words (and the typography) carry the page. 

TheMarioBlog post #887

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