School bus yellow-the color was chosen because it attracts attention and is noticed quickly in peripheral vision, faster than any other color.
I have a basic wardroble of black-and then add some interest with seasonal color. I love black and yellow for spring. I was asked to speak to a women’s group last year at about this time, and I chose to wear the yellow knit jacket in the photo. For a while after that, women would approach me to discuss some point I had made in my presentation. I tried to kid myself that I was remembered for my brilliance, my public speaking skills, etc., but they would begin with “you are the speaker that wore that yellow lacey jacket.”
These women didn’t remember me because of what I wore-they remembered me beacuse of the color I wore: yellow captures our attention more than any other color. The human eye processes yellow first-even if it is our peripheral vision. No need to wonder why emergency vehicles, rescue vehicles, cautionary signs and highway markings are bright yellow. Yellow kind of says “look at me!”
In our culture yellow is the best color to create enthusiasm for life and can awaken greater confidence and optimism. It is the color of sunshine and is associated with joy, happines and energy. Other cultures have unique meanings for the color yellow-some not so cheery:
- In Japan, yellow often represents courage.
- In China, adult movies are referred to as yellow movies.
- In Russia, a colloquial expression for an insane asylum used to be “yellow house.”
- Bright “marigold” yellow may be associated with death in some areas of Mexico.
- Those condemned to die during the Inquisition wore yellow as a sign of treason.
- A yellow patch was used to label Jews in the Middle Ages. European Jews were forced to wear yellow or yellow “Stars of David” during the Nazi era of persecution.
So, after our little trip around the world, we find yellow isn’t always evocative of happy, uplifting feelings. I mentioned the other meanings for yellow in the interest of full disclosure-I am content to continue my love affair with yellow. And, anytime I want to get attention, be remembered or just want to add a little energy and optimism I will wear something yellow.
What do you have in your home/closet that is yellow? How many yellow things will you see today while you are out and about? It is road repair season here in MN, so the landscape is filled with yellow painted machinery. Check out displays for fresh home decor-yellow is everywhere. I hope you smile when you see something yellow this week. I know I will.