Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello Again Yellow...

I've been wondering  why I've been lately attracted to this particular color.

So, being the curious person I am: I investigated.

What's with this color?

Gut reactions in North America may automatically associate the color yellow referring to "yellow-bellied" and "caution" but there appears to be much more to the color than just that.

We all know the famous yellow taxi: this practice began in Chicago, where taxi entrepreneur John D. Hertz painted his taxis yellow based on a University of Chicago study alleging that yellow is the color most easily seen at a distance. In 1960, New York City ordered that all the city's taxis be painted yellow.

Scientifically, light with a wavelength of 570–580 nm is yellow, as is light with a suitable mixture of red and green. (Yellow's traditional complementary color is purple, violet or indigo, while its colorimetrically defined complementary color in both RGB and CMYK color spaces is simply blue.)

Around the world, yellow ("giallo") in Italy, refers to crime stories, both fictional and real. This association began in about 1930, when the first series of crime novels published in Italy had yellow covers. The term "yellow movie" (黃色電影) can refer to films of pornographic nature in Chinese culture (analogous to the English "blue movie"). It is also associated with sensational journalistic practices, called "yellow journalism" and resistance to militant trade unions.

Historically, clothing in yellow in the past has long been relegated to royalty. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color yellow, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them. Only royalty were allowed to wear this color... In heraldry, yellow has always, or most always, indicated honor and loyalty.

In the metaphysics of the New Age, Alice A. Bailey, in her system called the Seven Rays - which classifies humans into seven different metaphysical psychological types, the fourth ray of harmony through conflict is represented by the color yellow. People who have this metaphysical psychological type are said to be 'on the Yellow Ray'.

Artistically, the pigment "Indian yellow" is a transparent, fluorescent pigment used in oil paintings and watercolors. Originally magnesium euxanthate, it was claimed to have been produced from the urine of Indian cows fed only on mango leaves. And the well-known Cadmium Yellow has been used in artists paints since the mid-19th century. Because of its toxicity, it may nowadays be replaced by axo pigments. 

Emotionally, it is the color of sunshine. It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Philosophically, yellow is warm, said to arouse cheerfulness,  and stimulates mental activity.

All this tends to lend to my interest and support my attraction to this vibrant color. Or maybe I've just forgotten what attracted it to me in the first place...




  1. Popular Cultural Icons Associated with YELLOW:

    Paddington Bear wearing the yellow slicker and sou'wester.

    The Man with The Yellow Hat - guardian of Curious George

    Frank Zappa (a personal favourite) - Don't You Eat That Yellow Snow

    Jellow - lemon

  2. Was yellow also not the colour of hate?

  3. Anonymous, I thought Paddington Bear's slicker was blue.

    Yellow is also associated with the third chakra, which affects Wisdom, Intellect, Enthusiasm, Joy and Optimism.

  4. Dawna, Think the official colour of Paddington's slicker was blue yet there are versions now where it is yellow too. Looked like a good idea last night! LOL! Love the chakra info!

  5. Awesome loved reading this!