Colors are visual tags that tell a story, Coloring Your World looks at the history and psychology of these colors that surround and influence us. Rounding out the primary colors, this installment focuses on big, bright, beautiful YELLOW.
As a primary color, it’s one of 3 building blocks (with red and blue) that form other colors. It’s also one of a trio of colors (with ceylon blue and magenta) used with black to create any color in print.
Yellow is unstoppable, and contagious! Fresh and vibrant, representing hope, optimism; change and reason, regular readers will know I constantly rail Realtors and Sellers to ‘Yellow-Up’ for more striking listing photos, and to boost Curb Appeal.
Highly esteemed in many Asian cultures, Yellow represents courage in Japan and wisdom in China. Here in the US, it’s friendship, peace, remembrance, and support, as in yellow ribbons. We also use “bright” and “brilliant” to describe this color AND intelligence; professors of natural and physical sciences in many European universities wear often yellow caps and gowns to represent research and reason.
If you’re in the Tour de France, a yellow jersey shows you’re in the lead. If you’re playing rugby, soccer or football, a yellow card or flag warns of, or penalizes bad behavior.
Yellow was the most popular colors in music titles in the turbulent 60s: Yellow Lemon Tree, Big Yellow Taxi, Mellow Yellow, Yellow Submarine, Yellow River and Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. In more recent memory, it was also the only color of necktie failed Tea Party Presidential candidate Herman Cain would wear.
The Indo-European root ghel stood for “to shine”, describing bright materials such as yellow metals. The old Norse “gulr ” became ”gull”, and now “gulden” (golden) in Dutch , and carried over to their monetary unit, the Guilder.
All early painters made their own paint, the earliest yellows came from clay-based yellow ocher, mineral-based, from a toxic, arsenic laden mineral, or cow urine. Van Gogh-a big yellow guy-was said to be one of the earliest adapters of commercially produced pigment.
Yellows that are true, or more toward the warmer orange are better choices for more people, and more rooms. Cooler yellows-ones with green undertone-can read as harsh or screechy depending on the lighting, and what they’re shown with.
The Refreshed Home’s top paint choices to add and reflect light in a room: Benjamin Moore’s Standish White, Hepplewhite Ivory, Philadelphia Cream, and Antique Lace. Perfect for rooms with darker northern exposures, a great compliment to Blue, but neutral enough to be flattering to most any skin tone or color palette. Also great choices for a bedroom or bathroom if you need help getting going in the morning.