New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, June 07, 2010

Yellow By Design



Yellow, along with red, is typically a color used to draw attention. The high visibility properties are utilized in warning signs, highway construction vehicles, school buses, and the New York City taxicab.
However, once outside the world of safety, caution and signage, bright yellow is not so often seen. Among automobiles, it is one of the least popular colors and is sure to draw attention.

While strolling on the boardwalk in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, the amazing assemblage of yellow in today's photo just jumped out - a diner with a bright yellow Polo shirt, a near perfect match with the solid bright yellow table covering, a yellow cloth in the bread basket, a bright yellow sign color, and a muted yellow apartment building in the rear.

The color yellow's use for taxis has a bit of a muddied history. It is frequently attributed to John Hertz - founder of Chicago's Yellow Cab Co. in 1915. Hertz reputedly chose yellow on the basis of a University of Chicago survey, which found the color highest in visibility. This may have been the case, however, yellow cabs were already in use in the United States and attributed to Albert Rockwell.

I was astonished to learn today that Albert Rockwell, founder and General Manager of the New Departure Manufacturing Co. of Bristol, Connecticut, was also a director and major stockholder of Yellow Taxicab Company, incorporated in 1912 by Bristol Engineering, a subsidiary of New Departure. I grew up in Bristol and had many relatives who worked for New Departure - a major employer in the town. Had I lived in the early 1900s, perhaps I too could have staked my claim for the choice of color of the New York City taxicab and become a contributor in the world of yellow by design :)

Related Colorful Postings: Coleur du Jour, That's Quite a Briefcase, Who See the Red?, A Colorful Life, Building Gone Wild, White By Design, Tale of Two Colors, A Colorful Life, Color Brigade, Eye Candy, White By Design 2.

8 comments:

Steffe said...

Nice find. I don't think I own a yellow shirt.

Brian Dubé said...

Steffe - Thanks. I don't think I ever owned a yellow shirt.

Gunn said...

...... in Norway we call this "Swedish", when we see yellow and blue..... (Sorry Steffe;)

Actually, for me yellow is a color that reminds me of south of France or Sorrento in Italy...
And I guess that was my first thought when I saw the top photo.

Lily Hydrangea said...

As far as I know, yellow is the brightest color of the spectrum, so it makes sense to use it for taxi's.
It seems like you were in the right place at the right time to catch such a serendipitous photo!
Also, interesting to think of what might have been...

tapirgal said...

Great capture with the shirt, and interesting text. I happen to have a stand-out bit of yellow on one of my latest posts: http://tapirgalsdailyimage.blogspot.com/2010/06/yellow-umbrella.html. It really does catch the eye!

Judit said...

so yellow shocks me but at the same time is nice!

erosangela said...

hmm interesting post...in the philippines...yellow is the latest number 1 political color...attributed by the son of the late pres. cory aquino who will soon take the presidency as well..

Eric Mesa said...

Looking through the RSS feed (trying to catch up), I was drawn to this photo because it's right by where my in-laws live. I was just walking by that this weekend.