Colors: What it is

A magazine, a series of CDs, documentaries, books and exhibitions

Established in 1991, from an idea of Luciano Benetton and Oliviero Toscani, under the direction of Tibor Kalman, with the premise that diversity is positive but that all cultures have equal value, today COLORS is part of the publishing activity in Fabrica, Benetton's communication research centre. COLORS' editorial offices are situated in Fabrica's architectural complex, restored and enlarged by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, and it has a network of external collaborators in the four corners of the earth.

Pictures are, above all else, COLORS' expressive medium: a method that is universal and reaches the greatest number of people with a strong, immediate impact. Using this visual language, COLORS' themes alternate between the challengingly serious, such as ecology, wars around the world, the fight against aids, and the frankly frivolous such as shopping, fashion, toys, but each is seen from an unconventional, irreverent perspective.

From issues 41 to 60 COLORS had transferred its attention to the theme of different “communities” inhabiting the planet, using photographic images and interviews, to recount with simplicity and immediacy, the intimate beauty of all human beings. After a year in New York, during which the magazine, thanks to its distinctive personality, has enhanced its vitality and visibility among the American media, COLORS now continues its research and documentation at Fabrica.

On sale in 40 countries, 3 editions, published in 4 languages, an Internet site that has won a record number of hits and critical acclaim: COLORS is a quarterly magazine that talks to young people all around the world.


Today COLORS is not only a magazine, it’s a way of communicating and of using diverse media languages to interpret the world. COLORS’ experience and cultural background have engendered numerous editorial projects.

COLORS Music: a music collection based on the idea that music, like images, is a universal medium, transcending barriers and reaching the greatest number of people with a strong, immediate impact. COLORS Music selects music from various geographic areas and presents it in a novel contemporary context. Nordic, Cumbia, Ottomanic, Rio Funk have already been produced in co-operation with Irma Records, a Sony Music international label.

COLORS Books: from the best-seller 1000 Extra/ordinary Objects or to 1000 SIGNS, published with Taschen, to the recent series with Skira Editore, the first of which is Hunger followed by Pagine Gialle. A complex publishing agenda made possible by, amongst other things, COLORS’ network of correspondents and photographers in over 50 nations across the world.

COLORS Exhibitions: COLORS has organised exhibitions in prestigious venues in locations including Florence, Rome, London, Istanbul, Madrid, Barcelona, Maastricht and Budapest.

COLORS Documentaries: A new generation of documentaries to bring attention to major, diversity-based themes and to give voice to the stories of ordinary people: from Hong Kong to Patagonia to the Rocinha slum, to the Aral Sea, which was awarded the first prize at the Torino Film Festival 2004, in the documentary section.