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
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
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