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Color in News Design

About This Course

Color, contrast and dimension play key roles in visual journalism. Each color imbues a unique mood or emotional overtone. When you learn what all these colors mean, you can pair them up with your copy for a dynamic presentation.

Color in News Design will show you how the visual elements of color, contrast and dimension complement the written word.

Please note: Some external files that are included in this course as design activities are currently not available. We are in the process of redeveloping this course so you will have access to all the files. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Explore the theoretical and psychological underpinnings of color and apply the theory in highly interactive exercises. At the end of the course, you will be more color literate and be able to make informed decisions when designing with color.

Please note: Some external files that are featured in this course are currently not available. This includes the Page Design Exercises that include links to files at We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to restore those links.

What will I Learn?

  • Make informed decisions about color
  • Identify the moods, or emotional overtones, created by different colors
  • Combine two or more colors to create effective contrasts
  • Use color combinations to create a sense of foreground and background

Who Should Take This Course?

Designers, copy editors, photojournalists and anyone who wants to learn about the power of color, especially those who design pages for print or online.

Course Instructor

Pegie Stark Adam

Pegie Stark Adam

Pegie Stark Adam is director of Stark Adam Design, a firm that designs and redesigns newspaper, magazine, Web sites and corporate communications. She is also a faculty affiliate at The Poynter Institute.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.