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Curious Yellow

Yellow sun

Have you noticed that yellow is often missing in action in the colorful offerings of kitchen appliances and electronic devices?  Aside from the nano-chromatic yellow iPod and the sunny yellow George Foreman grill,  the range of colors for laptops, cell phones, cameras kitchen appliances, and much more has not included yellow. (And that included the first generation of the trend-setting iMacs.)

Curious, indeed, and especially so since over 80% of people around the globe say that yellow is the color that represents happiness. (per the Global Color Survey) .

Perhaps the truth of the matter is that the positive power of yellow is in the mind and not in practice. In other words, it’s a color we all love (symbolically), but do not choose to live with.

Could it be that yellow really triggers eyesore images of Subway restaurants and garish yellow fire trucks (in the same sense that sleazy motel carpets and goblins generate the gag reflex of green)?  Maybe yellow is just stuck in the fluffy terrain of daffodils, daisies, rubber ducks, and lemon meringue pie?

Do you wear yellow? Many claim that it washes them out and makes them look sickly and sallow. Yes, the wrong shade of yellow does pose problems.

Even though Pantone designated a bright yellow - "Mimosa" - as the color of the year 2009, it came and went without leaving much of an impact. The last time that yellow had any staying power was with the harvest gold appliances of the 70s.

As for brand identity, some very interesting things have been happening. Of note, Sprint and Nikon have embraced yellow for their new logos. In other contemporary arenas, yellow has emerged as the color of cancer awareness and Lance Armstrong.  

We must remember that our reactions to color are culturally specific. However, there is a global reaction to yellow that’s grounded in how our eyes perceive color: Yellow captures attention faster than any other color of the spectrum. Therefore, you won’t miss an advertisement for a yellow car and you won’t miss a yellow car on the highway. In fact, peripheral vision for detecting yellows is 1.24 times greater than for red.

In conclusion, some thoughts to ponder:
Van Gogh called yellow “'a color capable of charming God.” However, Russians use the colloquial expression “yellow house” for an insane asylum. Perhaps, Dylan summed it up when he said, “The sun isn't yellow, it's chicken.”


 More about Yellow

The meanings of yellow

The Meanings of Yellow


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