Yellow Is Not

In their own words, they’ve been “color blind since 1926”.

It’s not good news when a business with 30,000 employees goes bankrupt. It may be especially bad when that company is part of the already-strained supply chain, as trucking giant Yellow is. Or was.

Still, there might be at least one small upside to the demise of Yellow Corporation. If their vehicles no longer travel the roads of the United States, it will at least mean an end to my brain being broken by their painful logo:

Yellow Trucking’s logo

For far too long, America’s drivers have been needled by this contradiction:

A “Yellow” truck
[Photo courtesy of Yellow Media Resources]

The above photograph shows Yellow’s latest, and presumably last, truck design. Previously, the problem was actually even worse, as the company used bright orange cabs:

A “Yellow” truck

Maddening! That image comes from via the company’s blog, specifically a post entitled “Why are Yellow’s Trucks Orange?”. The short answer is that the company’s name originates from an early association with a taxi operator owned by one of the company’s founders, which was called “Yellow Cab Co.”. Meanwhile, the logo color was chosen later, for safety:

Harrell enlisted the help of chemical company E.I. DuPont’s paint division for a recommended color that would be more visible on the road, regardless of weather conditions or the time of day. The winning color was one that DuPont coined “Swamp Holly Orange.” Soon, Yellow’s entire fleet of cabs and trailers bore the eye-catching color, all in the name of greater safety.

While it’s nice to know the history, I simply cannot accept the decisions that were made. Surely yellow is also an eye-catching color. Heck, until 1954 American Stop signs were yellow, and our school buses have been yellow since 1939. Given the company’s name, a bright, high-visibility yellow would have been a natural fit. And yet, we got “Swamp Holly Orange”. Yuck all around.

I imagine the company will be parted out, with assets like trucks sold off to other carriers, where they will be repainted. But if a new owner takes over the whole operation, please, in the name of all that is holy. Either change the logo:

Yellow Trucking’s corrected logo

Or change the name:

Yellow Trucking’s corrected name

Previously in confusing orange businesses: Orange Businesses