Yellow Wall
October 05, 2021

Cautious, Exciting, & Complex: The Color Yellow

When you think of the color yellow, what comes to mind? The sun, perhaps, maybe even daffodils? Most of us have come to associate yellow with positivity, joy, and energy. This makes a good deal of sense, given the hue’s bright dynamism. You may be surprised, then, to learn that the shade takes on diverse meanings from culture to culture. Joy is far from its only association. Historically speaking, yellow may be the most contradictory color out there.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Chris Barbalis

Yellow ochre is the oldest pigment we have and is present in artwork dating back to ancient Egypt. It’s even included in the 17,000- year-old cave drawings of Lascaux, France. Many of these pieces feature yellow as the color of the sun god, making the shade one of happiness and optimism. Contrarily, religious paintings of the Christian faith claimed yellow as Judas Iscariot’s hue. From this affiliation, in Christianity, yellow became the color of deceit and cowardice. This is a possible origin of the American phrase, “yellow belly”.


Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Bright yellows are highly visible and intense, making them perfect for cautionary signs. The yellows of road markings and school buses are painted that way for a reason. The yellow card in sports, warning a player of one last chance before expulsion, also represents discretion. For the human eye, too much bright yellow can be difficult to process and visually fatiguing. 


Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Mona Eendra

At the same time, yellow, the color of sunlight, lemon, corn, flowers, and honey, is undeniably jubilant. The first emojis were created using the yellow smiley face we all know so well; that symbol was first created in 1967, during the “summer of love.” In China, yellow is an overwhelmingly positive hue, signifying harmony and wisdom. 

Image courtesy of Alexander Girard Estate

There are so many different shades of yellow: electric green-yellows, tempered brown-yellows, and sophisticated orange-yellows. Each adds its own flavor to a space: yellow can serve as an invigorating highlight or a grounding warmth. This month, Ultrafabrics is highlighting a modern classic, Promessa/ Sun Shower. This bold marigold color, yellow with warm orange undertones, is often linked to the powerful strength of the sun, symbolizes energy and represents light and optimism.

Take a peek at our yellow fabric offerings:

Lino Yarrow 740-82613
Wired Lemon Drop 531-5266
Cove Sunflower 593-5247
Promessa Mustard 363-5263
Ultraleather Citrus 291-5200
Ultraleather Sassy 291-5250
Brisa Forecast Daisy 393-5267

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