The color yellow

We assign a different color of the spectrum to each issue of Prism. Find out more about the color concept and the current focus color of yellow.

Each issue of our employee magazine has a focus topic that is of particular interest and relevance to OSRAM employees. We take a look at these topics from different angles and consider all their facets – like looking through a prism, in fact. To make the focus topic stand out from all the other articles we give it its own color in each issue. This time the color is yellow.

Digital sales: focus color yellow

Yellow is the brightest of the primary colors and has high radiant power and long-range visibility. The fact that it can be seen from a long way away means that it has always been used for signs and signals that need to be conspicuous. Yellow is also a color that covers a large part of the visible spectrum, ranging from lemon yellow to gold. These properties make yellow ideal as the focus color for this edition of Prism on the subject of digital sales. The number of sources of information for potential customers has increased enormously, and so too have the demands made by customers. Success comes only to those who create customer experiences that are both individual and the best possible. Yellow also stands for sunlight – and therefore for brightness and warmth, for alertness and clarity. It can show us the way to a successful future and give us the confidence and energy to meet any challenge.

Colored boxes, cartoon heroes and poisonous frogs – interesting facts about the color yellow

  • All the cyclists in the Tour de France are desperate to wear yellow. Because only the leading cyclist gets to wear the yellow jersey. It was Henri Desgrange, the first tour director, who introduced it so spectators could instantly see who was in the lead, making the race even more enjoyable to watch. His choice of yellow was allegedly because the famous sports journal “L'Auto”, which inaugurated the race and for which Desgrange was editor-in-chief, was printed on yellow paper.

  • Yellow is also a popular color for cartoon characters – just think of SpongeBob, the Minions, Winnie the Pooh and The Simpsons. The reason is that television uses the RGB color space. Yellow and blue are complementary colors and therefore create a strong contrast. Since many of the scenes in the above-mentioned cartoon series feature blue sky (or in the case of SpongeBob the blue sea) yellow is the ideal skin color.

  • Yellow is the dominant color on Manhattan’s streets thanks to about 13,000 Yellow Cabs, all easy to see from a long way away because of their signal color. By the way, the yellow paint dates back to 1915 when rental car entrepreneur John D. Hertz founded the Yellow Cab Company in Chicago. He later he went also to New York with his taxis. In 1967, the city authorities stipulated that all New York taxis should be yellow.

  • Was yellow paper the reason why the yellow press was so called? Some say it’s because in the early days the tabloids with their sensational reporting were printed on cheap paper that had a yellowish tinge. The majority view, however, is that the term “yellow press” can be traced back to “Yellow Kid”, the first modern comic strip which appeared in 1895 in the New York World newspaper. With its speech bubbles, simple language and yellow color the cartoon was a real sensation at the time.

  • Back in the Middle Ages yellow was an unpopular color. Yellow flags were raised in towns and cities to indicate an outbreak of the plague. Yellow was also the color of shame for groups on the fringes of society. This negative connotation has continued to a certain extent in European culture – even now, yellow is associated with envy in Germany, and the English refer to coward as “yellow bellies”.

  • In soccer, a yellow card is shown to a player as a warning to abide by the rules or further punishment will follow. So when did all that start? The system of yellow and red cards was invented by Englishman Ken Aston, the man in charge of referees at the 1966 World Cup. In the quarter-final match between Argentina and England, German referee Rudolf Kreitlein sent the Argentine captain off for foul play. The captain refused to leave. He was ultimately escorted from the pitch by policemen. Driving away from the stadium, Aston was inspired by the yellow and red of traffic lights – symbols understood throughout the world. The yellow card had its premiere in the opening match of the 1970 World Cup between the USSR and Mexico.

  • In the animal kingdom, yellow is a warning color. The yellow and black coloring of bees and wasps tells their enemies that they can defend themselves. The most poisonous frog in the world, the poison dart frog, is bright yellow. Even a small amount of its poison can be deadly for humans.