April’s Color Schemes

When I think “April,” I begin to think of the springy holidays, blossoming flowers and pastel colors abounding everywhere. Magazine publishers have much of the same images in mind when they are brainstorming what their cover pages should look like this month. Well… some of them, anyway.

Taking a peek at this month’s magazine covers, it appears that most incorporate and bring to life the very essence of the season and make our eyes gravitate towards the colors while we are waiting on line at the food store. Advertisers study consumer behavior and attempt to determine what makes us do certain things, in this case, pick up a magazine and leaf through it.

I believe it is extremely important to choose colors that will attract as many readers as possible. Most publishers comprehend this concept, but others put there own spin on their cover’s color scheme which spices things up and makes them unique.

I’m in the processing of coding my first professional website from scratch, and I’ve played around with the color scheme probably about 100 times. I’ve been using this color scheme designer site to help visualize which colors will complement each other best, and without it, my site would probably look like a Crayola crayon box.  Hopefully I’ve finally gotten it right, but while contemplating, I realized how challenging it must be for a magazine staff to choose which colors and design will best yield readership.

I’ve taken a look at some April magazine covers, and here is a list of the top 5 that caught my eye on the racks for good and bad reasons.

5. Seventeen: It appears to me as though Seventeen‘s cover is meant for a fall issue, perhaps September, although I do adore the fact that Jennifer Lawrence‘s tie-dyed shirt matches the text surrounding her. Nowhere does it mention the word “spring.” It focuses more generally on hair and fashion which is featured in just about every issue, so I definitely believe it deserves a spot on my list at #5. Sorry, Seventeen!

4. Marie Claire: Instead of taking a traditional approach and throwing a bunch of pink and purples into the mix, this one, with Leighton Meester on the cover, appears polished and sophisticated. Although this magazine is my ultimate favorite, I don’t quite understand why the colors resemble fall foliage, but nonetheless, I own this issue and am staring at it right now! Better luck next time, MC.

3. Glamour: Once again, because The Hunger Games is so hot right now, Jennifer Lawrence is featured on the cover and is looking fabulous. Although I do like that she is photographed on a green pasture and some text is bright and fuchsia, her outfit is not in sync with the springy vibe. It looks more like she is headed to a nightclub than an Easter dinner, but there is mention of “Spring outfits,” so I give them some credit.

2. Cosmopolitan: Let me begin by stating that Megan Fox looks absolutely gorgeous on this month’s cover! Her body language gives off the embodiment of a sexy yet successful woman ready to take on anything. The magazine did not go over the top with their color scheme but incorporated pink and gold accents that really made the cover pop for me. They even mentioned “Spring’s sexiest makeup” that readers can find inside. Kudos, Cosmo.

1. Lucky: It doesn’t get much more “springy” than this. Rachel Bilson‘s dress and the text that flows around her makes me want to join her for a day in the park on a sunny day. The word “spring” is in a large, bold font, and the light purple tree complements the darker text around it very well. Rachel looks like the typical “girl-next-door” in this outfit, and the cover screams, “READ ME!” Congrats, Lucky, for being lucky enough to be my #1 this month.

What are your thoughts on this month’s color scheme choices?

Advertisements

Making Ethical Decisions

In an era of 24/7 news coverage that demands both accuracy and immediacy from providers, plagiarism and fabrication unfortunately appeal to those who feel tortured by looming deadlines and resort to these extremes to outperform the competition. Not only do these unethical choices damage the guilty individual’s reputation, but it stigmatizes all journalists.

In an effort to thwart such indecencies in journalism, many editors rely on the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics to present information in an authentic way and maintain loyalty to readers. With temptations lurking around every corner and technological advancements making these temptations all the more appealing and easier to carry out, journalists must also formulate their own moral compass to determine whether they are being ethical.

When analyzing just what the SPJ’s code stands for, it is important to understand its four aspects that it so noteworthy:

1. Seek Truth and Report it: Journalists’ primary obligation is to inform citizens about factual events and happenings that are taking place in the world around them so they can make their own decisions. Readers have the right to know the truth and nothing less. Being truthful is what some stressed out reporters forget to do when they choose plagiarism and fabrication over genuineness.

2. Minimize Harm: Although presenting truthful news is a must, journalists must also contemplate the possible consequences that will arise from their reporting. If disclosing an individual’s name and job description will jeopardize their safety, it is not ethical to report on it. By showing compassion for those discussed, readers will respect the news organization much more. Also, sometimes innocent people are thrust into the news, so journalists must do their best to treat them as human beings.

3. Act Independently: Conflicts of interests get journalists in trouble when they allow their affiliation to compromise journalistic integrity and thus allow biases to infiltrate coverage. Whether actual or perceived, conflicts of interest discourage readers from relying on news organizations for accurate material and will turn elsewhere for more objective coverage of an event.

4. Be Accountable: Journalists have a moral responsibility to their readers, first and foremost. Being as transparent as possible with them will strengthen loyalty and allow for open discussion when reporters make mistakes. Providing a forum for such discussion is key to attracting a devoted following.

In the words of Albert Einstein: “I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.”