COLORS: AN EXPERT’S VIEW: It’s not for the squeamish, but Colors offered Helena Hudson a compelling read

Colors is the magazine equivalent of a roller-coaster ride. Brought to us by Benetton’s creative guru, Oliviero Toscani, it is a showcase for some extraordinary visuals, alternating between the shocking, the perverse and the bizarre. It’s not a magazine for the faint-hearted but it commands the reader’s attention as it writes with pictures.

Colors is the magazine equivalent of a roller-coaster ride. Brought

to us by Benetton’s creative guru, Oliviero Toscani, it is a showcase

for some extraordinary visuals, alternating between the shocking, the

perverse and the bizarre. It’s not a magazine for the faint-hearted but

it commands the reader’s attention as it writes with pictures.



Editions are themed and this issue’s theme is ’touch’. It covers

self-mutilation, sex therapy, plastic surgery and a miracle baby among

others.



But the visuals are not gratuitously displayed. Accompanied by text

which is both compelling and absorbing, it makes for a remarkable read.

Your stomach may turn at the sight of a man with a lampshade through his

cheek, but the text explains how the ritual forms an integral part of a

Thai Festival. Another picture shows a man from Sierra Leone who had the

word terror carved on his chest to deter him from voting during

elections (something I hope William Hague won’t take up).



Colors lives up to its claim of covering cultures from around the

globe - and it covers them in an unusual and bracing style.



The content makes the pounds 4 coverprice worthwhile. But there are a

couple of small shadows that might linger over this striking

concept.



It has a low circulation in the UK (30,000) which Benetton is looking to

improve on. And retailers who take issue with Front probably won’t rush

to put it on their shelves.



Interestingly, there is also very little advertising. It may take time -

and Colors is not for timid advertisers. However, brands and readers

with attitude who eschew mediocrity, this is the magazine you’ve been

waiting for.



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