I sent an email out to three different contacts from my previous research. I asked them the following questions :
I received a detailed response from Erica Fusaro, Colors magazine, managing editor.
Below is the responses she gave me, I have found them very helpful and I found out more than I had from looking at the website, and the book/magazines.
Who would you say are the main readers/ audience of Colors Magazine ?
COLORS is a quarterly, mono thematic magazine read by young adults across the world and it is published in six bilingual editions (English + Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Portuguese). COLORS is a magazine “about the rest of the world”. The protagonists of COLORS are ordinary people who tell about their lives, cultures and customs. Our target reader is a curious, open-minded, active and urban intellectual person, very often also a traveller, nonconformist and open to dialogue. COLORS actually addresses anyone interested in what is going on around them, anyone curious and eager to know more about our world and its wide variety of human stories and situations.
Why do you think they read the magazine/ subscribe ?
Because COLORS is a magazine that changed radically through the years, but has kept its DNA which is about being social engaged and look at things that other magazines may not give editorial space to. COLORS tries to give attention to people, stories and things which are rarely in the spotlight. Fundamental issues and obscure situations are revealed in non-conventional and immediate ways.
What would you say the tone of voice of the magazine is ?
Since its first appearance in 1991, Colors has reinvented journalism. The biggest challenge for COLORS has always been to break the rules of the publishing industry. It allowed a generation to get to know the world with different eyes. Although the subject matter of Colors is serious, the pieces are presented in an accessible and humorous format.
Do you think that Colors magazine does this successfully ?
Since its birth in 1991, Colors has always been dedicating to stories approached from a broad perspective of global journalism, with a far-reaching journalistic mission. Continuing its 22 years tradition, each themed issues still examines the profound and playful sides of contemporary life around the world.
Colors’ mission is to be “a magazine about the rest of the world” and to represent a unique point of reference in the global publishing world. It has awoken public attention to topics and themes from areas of the world that other publications rarely write about.
Do you have a favorite article from any of the issues ?
Not favorite articles, but there is one particularly interesting in COLORS 85 "Going to the Market": Each day at the Indian temple of Venkateswara, the supreme lord of the mountain, in Tirumala, India, 10,000 people get their heads shaved by one of the temple's 500 barbers. For many Hindu pilgrims, the haircut is a mystical experience. In exchange for their locks, they will receive the protection of Lord Venkateswara, and be freed of their pecuniary debts. But when the hair falls to the temple floor, the sacred gives way to the pragmatic. The locks are collected, stored in large steel bins, washed and sorted by length and quality. Twice a year, they are auctioned. The sold hair is mainly exported to China, the United States and the United Kingdom, where it is used to make extensions and wigs. Last year, due to fears that hair-buyers were forming a consortium to control prices, the temple abandoned its traditional open auction process, and opted instead to sell the hair online, using a secret offers method. So far, the change in strategy has proven extremely profitable: in 2011, the temple distributed 561 tons of hair, for a total of 2 billion RS ($USD 36.9 million).