In terms of art direction and photography, this is in GOAT territory. With graphic design great Tibor Kalman and controversial advertising photographer Oliviero Toscani as founding members—it would be hard to go wrong. ‘A magazine about the rest of the world’, that picks themes around multiculturalism and global awareness and sticks to them tightly with concise writing and outstanding photo-journalism.
I picked up these older copies from Bookhouse. The typography is very of it’s time but I’m not mad about that at all. It’s expressive, and considered, and the COLORS masthead is playful, solid, and timeless (demonstrated by the fact it has been in use since the magazines 1991 inception to the present day).
Funded by United Colors of Benetton means I guess you could call this branded content. Benetton is a rare company that aren’t afraid of controversy and used the publication to promote messages of unity and tolerance. I mean, they ultimately did it to sell clothes, depending on how cynical you want to be—but to have a brand with their outlook back your publication and take away the worry of appeasing a variety of advertisers obviously grants the editorial team a certain degree of freedom. A freedom that allowed them to do things like publish a graphic photo of Roadkill on the front cover. It pushes buttons, pushes the envelope, and it makes you feel something—even if that feeling might not always be particularly pleasant.
Stats: Issue 8: 251mm x 345mm, 124 pages, perfect bound on uncoated stock; Issue 19: 232mm x 302mm, 82 pages, perfect bound on semi-coated stock
Published by: Benetton Group