Newborn babies had appeared on magazine covers, but few had looked so gross. Covered in blood and placenta, bluish face distorted in a primordial grimace, umbilical cord still bursting out of her belly, Giusi – the name the baby was about to receive – was just different.
The cover of COLORS #1 - It’s a baby was a statement: it screamed that a new way of doing journalism had just been born. The shout echoed inside the magazine: bold, colorful images accompanied by short bits of text; titles that sounded like advertising slogans; more facts than opinions; stories from all over the world; bilingual articles written in English and other languages. In keeping with the visual nature of the magazine, the editor-in-chief wasn’t a journalist, but a graphic designer, Tibor Kalman, who decided to give readers of COLORS one simple idea: diversity is good.
In COLORS’s first editorial, the fax machine was hailed as a revolutionary communication tool. Since then, the magazine has changed style, staff and language; it’s gone online and on social networks; it has shrunk and expanded in size; its headquarters have moved from New York to Paris, from Rome to Treviso; it has received awards and harsh criticism. But it has never betrayed that first idea: that COLORS should celebrate how diverse people are, because diversity – even in our post-globalized world – is still a good thing.
This week, COLORS #1 - It’s a baby will be on display at BELVEDERE, “a showcase of the best visual magazines and art books in contemporary culture”, organized by the Institute of European Design in Rome. To see it, click here. As for Giusi, you should be 21 years old now. Give us a shout if you read this.