In our continuing series on color, we visit the courageous and cowardly, lemony sunshine happiness that is Yellow.
As colors go, yellow is schizophrenic at best. It symbolizes a whole cadre of conflicting meanings and messages. While generally accepted as the “happiest” color in the spectrum, yellow has also been associated with several negative connotations, including everything from cowardice to treachery to quarantine (yuck). For instance, in 10th century France, the doors of criminals and traitors were painted yellow. In Greece, yellow is associated with sadness and Christianity associates yellow with greed. Perhaps most infamously, yellow was the color of the Stars of David worn by Jews in Nazi Germany.
Yet, psychologically, yellow is truly a positive color as it is known to stimulate mental processes (such as creativity … which reminds us that we need more yellow in the Braizen offices) and the energizes body’s nervous system. It’s been known to activate memory and encourage communication. In Hinduism and Buddhism, yellow is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is representative of vitality and will. Aesthetically, yellow is bright and inviting. In nature, there may be nothing more stunning than yellow fall foliage against the backdrop of a bright blue autumn sky. Vincent Van Gogh absolutely adored yellow (as seen in his long-time obsession with sunflowers) and, as a primary color, it is associated with some of our earliest memories of the spectrum. For all its conflicting uses, yellow remains one of the most recognized and visually pleasing colors around the world.